Local organisations were left on edge last week when a pamphlet was left outside their doors threatening that they would be “hunted down” for appropriating Māori culture.
However, the two men whose images feature on the letter say they have nothing to do with it.
“Whoever has done this has taken my identity, taken my whakaaro, taken my beliefs, and done something really ugly with it,” Te Hāmua Nikora told the Breeze radio station.
“It’s been made to look like I’m a Pākehā hater and I’m trying to drum up some sort of hate against Pākehā businesses. Straight up, I don’t like cultural appropriation, but I’m not a Pākehā hater.”
Police were notified of the incident which saw the pamphlet being dropped at several organisations around the CBD.
It features photographs of Atama Moa and Te Hāmua Nikora featuring words including “confront those who abuse our culture … hunt them down”.
Neither of the men live in Nelson.
Te Hāmua says while some of the words have been taken from his social media accounts, the pamphlets were not his “style”.
“If I was to make a pamphlet, I’m the type of person that would knock on your door, hand it to you and talk to you about it. I wouldn’t sneak in under the veil of night.”
It is understood that police are investigating and have CCTV footage of balaclava-clad people depositing the pamphlets.
Janja Heathfield of the Refinery Artspace on Hardy St says she arrived to work last week to see the pamphlet on its window.
“When I saw it, I thought ‘what have we culturally appropriated’. My first instinct was to have a conversation with them.”
Then, it became stranger when she found out it was not sent by who it said it was.
“It felt a little intimidating when it was talking about hunting people down,” Janja says.
“But it wasn’t clear whether they were trying to discredit those people or highlight that conversation. There are other ways to do it.”