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Thursday, 21 March 2019 11:25 am

Cenotaph occupied in protest against state asset sales

ASSET SALES are again being contested by a new movement called Occupy Cenotaph.

At Wellington’s political and judicial end of town, underneath the Citizens’ War Memorial, a group of protesters are digging in their heels.

The movement is mirroring the Occupy Wellington protest of late 2011, but focusing on the Government’s asset sales and proposed TransPacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

A lone tent in front of Parliament gates is the standing point for four protesters who are from a mixture of backgrounds.

Ariana Paretutanganui-Tamati

On the footpath surrounding the tent are several large chalked statements echoing the values of the protest.

Mana Party member Ariana Paretutanganui-Tamati says her small business helps to fund the protest.

Ariana says she is worried about the sales of state housing in areas such as Maraenui in Napier and Pomare in Lower Hutt.

Jayne Routhan

She says houses in Pomare were knocked down with only part of the land they stood on being used again for state housing.“[Housing New Zealand] create some housing, but eventually, what they have been doing since about the 80s, is that they carve off all our state assets our parents worked hard for, and sell it off the foreign investors,” says Ariana.

“In Pomare, 20% is going back into the state while the rest is going toward private enterprise. There’s no protection.”

Jayne Routhan opposes the TPPA as she believes it may put pressure on copyright laws for things such as music.

“These are all  restrictions to our freedom,” says Jayne.

During the next two weeks the protesters will be collecting video of opinion about asset sales and the TPPA before posting the video to YouTube.


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