Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Urewera 17 Profile: Rongomai Bailey - Film Maker

Over the coming 2 weeks Scoop.co.nz will be profiling each of the so-called terrorists arrested on Monday 15th October and now known as the Urewera 17. The first profile is of Rongomai Bailey who received bail on Tuesday this week when Judge Josephine Bouchier found that the case against him wasn't sufficiently made to justify keeping him in prison. While his name is not suppressed Rongomai's image remains suppressed as does the evidence presented against him during his bail hearing.

Rongomai Pero Pero Bailey
Aged 28 - Film Maker Of Auckland


Profile by Joseph Barratt

Out on bail Rongomai Bailey is still determined to open people eyes through the power of film, despite the prospect of potential terror charges being laid against him.

Rongomai Bailey was one of the 17 people arrested in police raids around the country last week, he received bail on Tuesday and had his name suppression lifted.

Bailey has plans to travel around New Zealand in a film festival, showcasing films on world issues.

“I want to make people question what they are told is the truth,” he says.

Bailey was a graphic designer but has also worked as a cameraman including working alongside New Zealand director Vincent Ward for a film he is doing on the Tuhoe.

In the past he and Vincent have traveled to the Urewera, the area where the alleged “terrorist training” camps are, but Bailey says they did not go to the camp and there is no connection between it and Ward.

Concerning his time in jail, Bailey says, has really made the issue come home. “It makes me realize what other people go through” in other parts of the world.

“If we had been in Palestine my mothers house would have been bulldozed. If we had been in America no one would have heard from me and my girlfriend would have been left wondering what had happened.”

“It’s no coincidence the raids have been the same week the anti terror laws go to Parliament.”

“[New Zealand] is going down the slippery slope… What scares me is how quickly its happening.”

Bailey says that now he has been labeled as a terrorist he won't be able to travel to lots of places around the world.

While hoping that the police do not officially lay terrorism charges against him - and the risk of a 14-year jail sentence that could entail - Bailey says he wont be surprised if the Police do proceed.

The Police have said they will be making a decision around now on whether to ask the Solictor General for leave to lay charges under the Terrorism Suppression Act.

Raising the spectre of terrorism is about political control for the Government, he says. "I am not anything vaguely like a terrorist."

In contrast to the heavy police presence in some of the other raids around New Zealand In Bailey's case arrest came with a normal knock on the door at 7.30ish in the morning.

His girlfriend's flat-mate answered the door and went and got him. Bailey then went out to see the police with just a towel wrapped around him.

The police let him get dressed and then they took him away un-handcuffed.

As for after the arrest. “The first night was horrible, I didn’t know what had happened and I hadn’t talked to anyone,” says Bailey.

He says he was very relieved to make bail because he was thinking to himself, “what am I going to do in here, no book, no pen or phone calls.”

Bailey used his first phone-call in prison to ring his girlfriend but unfortunately it went through to an answering machine. He says the prison services people were very professional but were to busy to let him use the phone again.

The other prisoners were a good bunch of people, he says, a lot of them support Maori sovereignty and were supportive of him too.

One of Bailey’s first comments when leaving the courthouse yesterday was, “a lot of the people in prison seem like nice guys, they just seem a little lost and there is no help in there for them.”

If Bailey had been refused bail this week he would potentially have had to spend months imprisoned before another chance for release, a trial estimated to be anywhere up to 24 months away.

Several other "terror" accused are expected to have bail hearings, name suppression appeals and bail appeals heard in coming days.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Addiction To Chinese Student Fees

Last week, Australian PM Scott Morrison extended its ban on foreign visitors from or passing through from mainland China – including Chinese students - for a third week. New Zealand has dutifully followed suit, with our travel ban ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Coronavirus, And The Iowa Debacle

As Bloomberg says, the coronavirus shutdown is creating the world’s biggest work-from-home experiment. On the upside, the mortality rate with the current outbreak is lower than with SARS in 2003, but (for a number of reasons) the economic impact this time ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Dodging A Bullet Over The Transport Cost Over-Runs

As New Zealand gears up to begin its $6.8 billion programme of large scale roading projects all around the country, we should be aware of this morning’s sobering headlines from New South Wales, where the cost overruns on major transport projects ... More>>

Gordon Campbell:On Kobemania, Palestine And The Infrastructure Package

Quick quiz to end the week. What deserves the more attention – the death of a US basketball legend, or the end of Palestinian hopes for an independent state? Both died this week, but only one was met with almost total indifference by the global community. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Double Standard That’s Bound To Dominate The Election

Are National really better political managers than Labour, particularly when it comes to running the economy? For many voters – and the business community in particular - their belief in National’s inherent competence is a simple act of faith. More>>


Gordon Campbell : On Dealing With Impeccable, Impeachable Lies

By now, the end game the Republican Senate majority has in mind in their setting of the rules for the impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump is pretty clear to everyone: first deny the Democrats the ability to call witnesses and offer evidence, and then derisively dismiss the charges for lack of evidence. For his part, does former security adviser John Bolton really, really want to testify against his former boss? If there was any competing faction within the Republican Party, there might be some point for Bolton in doing so – but there isn’t. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Why The Dice Are Loaded Against Women..

If they enter public life, women can expect a type of intense (and contradictory) scrutiny that is rarely applied to their male counterparts... More>>

 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog