The powhiri was awe-inspiring. The wero was fierce. Friend or foe, was the challenge.

Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis is, at the least, no foe to those inside.

Davis was sized up by one, then two, then three inmates at Ngawha prison. Taiaha was thrust and whirled and pukana and whetero followed.

This played out at Ngawha prison today. It was breathtaking, particularly when you consider Davis standing there as the Crown, receiving the challenge from three of the enormous population of Maori men in prison.


There is an argument - and Davis wouldn't challenge it - that the Crown contributed