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All Blacks halfback TJ Perenara showed his support for protesters at an Auckland housing development site when he wrote “Ihumātao” on the wristband he wore during the Bledisloe Cup decider at Eden Park on Saturday night.
The dispute over the housing development planned on the 33ha site in Māngere, South Auckland, has erupted since those occupying the land — regarded as sacred to mana whenua — were served eviction notices last month.
Perenara has long been one of the more outspoken All Blacks and his form of protest posed no concerns for All Blacks management after the 36-0 thrashing of Australia.
“It’s his decision, it doesn’t bother me,” said All Blacks coach Steve Hansen. “I didn’t even notice it, to be honest. They write all sorts of stuff on their wristbands these blokes today.”
Protesting social issues is not new within the All Blacks. Three years ago, New Zealand Maori prop K
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