A heartwarming video of a police officer singing at Ihumātao with protesters has gone viral, with many both moved by the moment - and some wondering if the officer is married.
The video shows the police officer strumming a guitar and singing Whakaaria Mai with many of the people that have gathered in protest at the site singing along with him. It was posted on Facebook on the weekend by Piks Mura-Hita and has since been shared thousands of times.
"Together'ness🙌🏼❤️," commented one person.
"You were a Maori before you became a cop. Good on you," said another.
"I have never ever wanted to hug a police fella, never ever...... Til now ❤️ Be blessed whanau katoa," said a third.
A voice at the end of the video says, "Damn... and handsome... and funny," - and it seems she's not the only one who noticed.
"Quite the catch," one commented. She also pondered on whether he was married.
The officer in question has said he's "flattered by the attention" but declined an interview with Now To Love.
Superintendent Jill Rogers from the NZ Police has made a statement in support of their singing cop, who is said to be from Te Waimana Kaaku - Ngai Tuhoe, saying, "It has been great for people to see the positive and respectful interactions that police have had with the public at Ihumātao.
"The feedback from the protesters has been encouraging and shows that the public understand that police are only here to do their job and it is not our wish to make any arrests.
"This is a great example of one of the many positive, friendly interactions between police and protesters that have occurred at the site throughout the week."
Ihumātao has been at the centre of media coverage in recent days, with the protest now in its sixth day.
On Friday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a halt to Fletcher's building work at Ihumātao until the dispute is resolved.
Protest group SOUL, which includes mana whenua, has been occupying the site for three years but the situation escalated this week as Fletcher Building sought to begin building houses on the land and served those occupying the land with an eviction notice; they are doing so with the local iwi's blessing.
SOUL has been pushing for the Government to purchase the land and return it to iwi, saying the land was unfairly confiscated in 1863.
Chief Human Rights Commissioner Paul Hunt has said, "There are several issues facing the mana whenua and all other participants involved in the dispute... We need to bring together a range of perspectives to identify ways of resolving this dispute in an enduring way."
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