He’s used to battling in the arena, but Spartacus star Manu Bennett took on another challenge this week. He was the highest bidder in an art auction to raise funds for the costs of the Appeal Court hearing for Tame Iti and Rangi Kemara, who were jailed as a result of the Urewera raids.
Bennett (above) paid $10,400 for Shane Cotton’s Land of Names. He also bought Iti’s artwork, Te Whai A Te Motu, painted in Waikeria Prison.
‘‘Manu purchased a lot of works and spent a lot of money,’’ said Ninakaye Taanetinorau, who helped organise the auction at Bizdojo Gallery on K Rd. Nearly $80,000 was raised.
Meanwhile, Spartacus co-star Lucy Lawless, who is no stranger to political activism, will guest star in two episodes of NBC comedy Parks and Recreation playing a single mum. ‘‘I am always amazed by the acting and writing. It’s kooky, ironic and elegant,’’ Lawless tweeted.