Every Monday, the Chronicle fires 10 questions at a Whanganui local. This week, Ethan Griffiths has a chat to well-known Whanganui activist Phillip Reweti, better known as Bear.
You have had a long history of activism - what was the first thing you protested?
Bastion Point. My Dad is from Ngāti Whātua, so we spent time there. I was 15 or 16 at the time. I also protested the Springbok Tour when they played Whanganui here. That night outside the Rutland Hotel there was a big brawl with the cops and the locals. I've still got my scar.
What is the biggest issue facing New Zealand at the moment?
I would say poverty. Poverty is one of the biggest issues around. There's a lot of homeless and not only in Auckland. We have them here in Whanganui, too.
What did you want to do when you were growing up?
My father was an ex-Navy man - he came back from Korea. When I was growing up I was just a normal young fella getting on with life. Maybe the meatworks. I used to love going to work there, but maybe not today.
What's your favourite song?
I like Barry White's My First My Last My Everything. I blast that at karaoke. Also Bob Marley - Stand Up For Your Rights. Both very good songs.
What is the most important thing you've protested?
I'd say the TPPA or 1080. A lot of issues actually. I'm quite often down the steps of Parliament, the security guards know me by my first name. They see me coming.
Who was your biggest inspiration growing up?
Probably Nelson Mandela. He spent all those years in prison for doing what he believed in. That's inspirational. I would have loved to have gone to his funeral.
What's your favourite thing about Whanganui?
The awa. I love to go down the beach and sit on the Mole, read the paper and check Facebook. It's a special thing we have here.
What's your favourite film?
Quite a few actually. I really like The Green Mile. And the prison one with Morgan Freeman - Shawshank Redemption. I wish there was a part two to that.
What advice would you give to your 16-year-old self?
If I was 16, looking at myself now, would I still be doing what I am today? The answer is yes.
What's the thing you're most proud of in life?
Probably my nine kids, and my mokos too. They're really special to me.
What's your favourite meal?
Probably anything from George's Fish Shop. They look after me. Always fantastic food. The pāuas are the best in town - I like to go there at least twice a week.