Man who attacked America’s Cup auctions t-shirt on TradeMe

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The man jailed for smashing the America’s Cup 24 years ago is again trying to sell souvenirs from the attack to raise funds for his political party.

The t-shirt worn by Benjamin Nathan - now Moemoea Mohoawhenua - during the attack on the America's Cup in 1996.

The t-shirt worn by Benjamin Nathan – now Moemoea Mohoawhenua – during the attack on the America’s Cup in 1996. Photo: Supplied / TradeMe

On this day in 1997, Benjamin Nathan attacked the cup 30 times with a sledgehammer.

He complained the cup was a symbol of oppression and none of the earnings from racing would reach Māori .

He was sentenced to two years and 10 months for the attack.

Nathan – who now calls himself Moemoea Mohoawhenua – has listed the Māori sovereignty t-shirt which he wore during the attack on TradeMe.

According to the seller, who said they were working on Mohoawhenua’s behalf, the auction was started to raise money for his Tino Rangitiratanga Liberation Organisation Political party.

Other items in the auction include a printed quotation from US President Theodore Roosevelt, which the seller said was on Nathan’s person during the attack to “encourage his political actions”.

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Also included is an American quarter dollar, which was “given to Mr. Mohoawhenua on the day of the attack when he paid the taxi driver and she accidently gave him the American coin (instead of a NZ twenty cent coin),”

According to the seller, “it was the very first time Mr. Mohoawhenua had ever been in contact with American money so he saw it as a direct sign that Providence was with him (his own words).”

The auction has a starting price of $10,000 and a Buy Now of $25,000.

The sledgehammer used in the attack is not included in the auction.

Mohoawhenua previously tried to sell the same items on the auction site in 2016.

In 2020, Mohoawhenua stood as an independent for the Māori seat of Te Tai Tokerau in Northland.


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