It may have been a fleeting visit, but Tame Iti has met Rotorua supporters on his way back home to Ruatoki.
Eager to get home, Mr Iti stopped briefly outside the Rotorua District Court yesterday, where about 15 supporters were waiting for him.
The veteran Maori rights activist had been released on parole earlier yesterday morning, after having served nine months of a two and a half-year prison sentence on charges stemming from the police raid in the Urewera Ranges in 2007.
He stepped out of the car and quietly took time to go around the group, pausing to hongi some of them, before being whisked back into the vehicle headed for home.
One of those was Mere Mita, who travelled from her home in Murupara to Rotorua, where she joined the convoy to Ruatoki.
Asked why she had turned up, she simply said: "Tame is my whanau."
Another supporter, who did not want to be named, said turning up to greet Mr Iti was a way of doing something to show her support.
She believed that, after all he had been through, it was the least she could do. "It's a way of being able to support him."