February 15 – Protest at TPK! (Part Tahi)
At around 2pm, 15 February, members of the Mana Party, Labour, Alliance, Occupy Movement, and other groupings and individuals assembled outside Te Puni Kokiri, on the corner of Lambton Quay and Stout Street.
The protest was organised primarily by the Newtown Branch of the Mana Party, to coincide with a hui at the TPK offices.
The Hui was one of a series throughout the country called by the government; facilitated by Wiri Gardner; and attended by Ministers Bill English and Tony Ryall. English and Ryall were expected to attend to listen to peoples’ concerns about Treaty implications regarding state asset (partial-)sales, and Section 9 of the SOE Act 1986.
John Key has suggested that Section 9 – which states simply, “Nothing in this Act shall permit the Crown to act in a manner that is inconsistent with the principles of the – might be deleted from the SOE Act 1986. Many view such a move as a retrograde step, setting Crown-Maori relations back by decades.
Above; Darren Kemp (L) from the Mana Party; Cedric, (center) and Jonathan Elliot (R). Darren and Jonathan were the first to arrive and take up placards opposing the sale of state assets.
Below, John (L) and Warwick (R), arived soon after. Warwick is a long-time supporter of the Alliance Party,
Jonathan (L) and Ian (center) from the Workers Party, handing out leaflets to passers-by,
More people soon arrived to join the protest,
Donna was one who joined the protest. She said that “only a couple of people had been rude” to her as she handed out leaflets. Donna was more concerned at “the apathy I find distressing. At least they should care for their children‘s future“,
Seann (holding sign), said that there should be more focus on Peter Dunne’s role in asset sales. He said that whilst it “might be a long shot“, Dunne was vulnerable because of his slim majority in Ohariu,
Ariana, from the Newtown Branch of Mana Party. Ariana said that Hone Harawira would be arriving at the Hui and would present a submission on Treaty issues surrounding state asset sales.
Ariana said that asset sales “makes this country vulnerable to overseas corporatisation” and added that “selling our children’s assets was shameful “,
She questioned the outcome of the Hui, “what will they do with the final consultation report?” Ariana did not seem confident that much notice would be taken of peoples’ concerns.
More people arrived, and took up placards – including some other familiar faces from the Alliance,
Seann, Donna (center), and Freda,
Buses and cars honked their support every few minutes. We noticed bus drivers especially seemed very supportive of the protest, judging by their horn-honking as they went past,
The protest group was low-key, which perhaps explained only two police office and six Maori Wardens stationed nearby. Protestors, Wardens, TPK staff, and Police mingled and chatted amicably.
The signs said it all, and elicited support from drivers in their cars, and their drove past. Even if pedestrians did not stop and take a leaflet, I suspect that the protestor’s message of higher power prices would not be lost on them.
Bronwyn, a Labour Party member, chatting with Cedric (from TPK?),
Mike, from the Alliance Party,
Bronwyn, with a very pertinent message to the government: does a one seat majority give them a mandate to pursue unpopular policies? Especially if this government is only one by-election away from faling.
Darren (L), Mike, and Len Arthur (R).
The message is simple and to the point; No asset sales and privatisation will inevitably lead to higher power prices,
Benjamin, who describes himself as a “political busker”, held the flag of the United Tribes of New Zealand,
Warwick, Larry (background), ?, and Darren,
During the first 30 to 45 minutes, the laid-back situation still required the presence of only two constables. A couple of Occupy Wellington supporters had arrived, to join the protest,
As the protest rally got larger, the msm arrived – as did more Police. Word also got around that Mana Party leader, Hone Harawira would be arriving shortly…
To be continued Part Rua (so as not to overload this page with too many images).
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For a better New Zealand…
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~ Less on Roads - more on Rail
~ Minimum wage @ $15 p/hr
~ Marriage equality
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~ Breakfast/lunches in our schools
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