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Maori Party booed as hikoi makes last stand

May 4th, 2012 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

 

MAORI Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell was booed by protesters when he spoke at the asset sales Hikoi at parliament today.

The crowd accused Mr Flavell, pictured left, and the Maori Party of selling out.

His comment that The Maori Party opposed asset sales and is working hard to represent Maori in government was shouted down by the crowd.

Protestors are angry that the party born from the foreshore and seabed hikoi is now working with the National Party led government against their original ideals.

Brigit Henare, from Northland says she was was left with no choice but to participate.

“We have big issues around oil drilling, fracking, mining, and using our railway as part of the cycleway, it’s the asset sales.

“Half our region is unemployed and the other half are locked out from AFFCO. And what are they doing about it? Nothing,” she says.

Many others took the opportunity to protest over a long list of complaints about the government including the Sky City casino deal, Treaty of Waitangi claims, big business bribes and student loan changes.

Eighty year old protester Adelaide Waititi voiced her concern for the future of this country if the government follows the path it is on.

“I’ve been fighting against these things my whole life and I felt compelled to come here today because it’s about my mokopuna. My mokopuna and all the other future mokopuna out there” she says.

 

People’s Power Oharui take one last shot at Dunne

PEOPLE’S Power Ohariu viewed the hikoi march through Wellington as a last ditch effort to stop the sale of state assets.

The group, which was formed to oppose Ohariu MP Peter Dunne’s vote in favour of the sales, has been working for months on ways to draw people’s attention to the sales.

Today’s hikoi, which drew about 5000 protestors according to police quoted on TV3, gave People’s Power a chance to deliver its message on a wider platform.

This is essential because the group believes that time is running out, says People’s Power Ohariu spokesperson John Maynard.

“It’s now or never. Because if this law passes, then the Government will be rushing through the Mighty River sales.

“It’s our duty to do everything we can to stop this law going through.”

People’s Power was given a chance to speak to protesters on the steps of parliament, with member Frances Kuo, pictured right, addressing the crowd.

“My message is, everybody has to act now. Don’t wait till the next election. We have to act now, and do something about it, to stop them before it’s too late.”

People’s Power member Ariana Paretutanganui-Tamati was firm in her opposition to the sales.

“Clear message to Peter Dunne – he doesn’t have the mandate from his electorate to sell out our country, our assets, and our children’s future,” she says.

“He must, if he truly represents this country and his electorate, withdraw his support of the bill.”

Peter Dunne did not attend the event.

 

Harawira focal point of pre-hikoi gathering

EARLIER in the day the Mana Party leader Hone Harawira was part of the pre-hikoi rally at Te Papa Museum before the march on Parliament.

The meeting point was planned as a focal point for Wellington supporters to join the main hikoi marching to parliament.

Police reported more than six hundred people gathered outside the museum.

Mana Party supporters were the majority of those at the gathering.

Many of the people at the rally were Maori claiming Prime Minister John Key did not have the rights to sell assets that belong to the people of New Zealand.

The gathering was fired up by a chant, “who’s got the power? We got the power!”

Other protesters wanted a stop to fracking and labelled the Government corrupt, and passing vehicles tooted their support.

The march from Te Papa  reached Willis St where it was joined by the We Are The University student protest before heading for Parliament.

Hikoi and local protesters plan to maintain a week-long presence at Parliament during which they have events scheduled to keep the issue in the public eye.

NEWSWIRE TEAM: Kristen Paterson, Vicky Cotterell, Damon Rusden, Anthony Scadden, Paul Davison, Alastair Reith.

 

 

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