4900 oppose vigilante iwi checkpoints

A total of 4900 people have signed our petition against iwi vigilantes illegally setting up highway checkpoints. The petition was launched before ANZAC weekend

On Thursday, Opposition Leader Simon Bridges repeatedly asked Police Commissioner Andrew Coster why the police hadn’t shut the roadblocks down since they were illegal.

Coster said that police had had to decide whether to resource that during Level 4 lockdown while busy with other obligations. He said that if police had done anything they would have faced "tens of protests". See https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/if-wed-shut-down-checkpoints-there-wouldve-been-protests-police-commissioner?fbclid=IwAR0HbJh_3peGpPfeCgUqJVXWzkJeBAn03QuGJrKvMXOueAXCek3yuF9JYm8

When National MP Mark Mitchell asked Coster whether he had been pressured to take a softer approach on roadblocks, and requested the names of those within the Government who had advised Coster, Labour MP Ruth Dyson jumped to Coster’s defence, alleging that the line of questioning was “disgraceful”. See https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2020/04/that-s-a-disgrace-mps-police-commissioner-in-fiery-clash-over-covid-19-community-roadblocks.html

On March 31, after former MP Hone Harawira set up the first roadblocks, Hobson’s Pledge spokesman Don Brash asked Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern: “Can you assure the public that this kind of behaviour will be stopped, and will not be tolerated again?”

That letter was referred to Nash as Police Minister and no response has been received.

Inaction on the roadblocks issue by the Prime Minister, the Police Minister, and the Police Commissioner, gives the appearance that we now live in a country where taking the law into your own hands is officially endorsed.

If you have not done so already, you may sign our petition for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to put an end to such vigilante roadblocks. Go to http://chng.it/6wSxmQ2v

Playing the ‘racist’ card to silence debate

The Honour the Maunga tree protection group spokeswoman, Anna Radford, showed how the racist card is frequently played to silence criticism.

When the Tupuna Maunga Authority unexpectedly started felling 2000 exotic trees on Auckland’s volcanic cones, Radford and others set up camp to protect the trees on Mount Albert.

The authority was set up according to a treaty settlement in 2014 which vested ownership of Auckland’s 14 volcanic cones (maunga) in a collective of 13 Maori groups but placed the land in trust for the common benefit of that collective and everyone else in Auckland.

To reflect “Treaty partnership”, the ancestor mountain (tupuna maunga) authority equally comprises Maori groups and Auckland Council members.

At a recent Auckland Council governing body meeting, which discussed the Tupuna Maunga Authority's 2020/21 draft plan and budget, Cr Christine Fletcher asked why the previous year’s plan had not made it clear so many trees would be felled.

During the ensuing debate, several councillors implied it was racist to question the authority. The council subsequently voted in favour of the plan with only one dissenting vote – councillor Fletcher's.

Radford wrote: “Likewise, the Honour the Maunga tree protection group routinely experiences accusations of racism based on nothing more than our daring to challenge the authority's plans to fell hundreds of trees”. See https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12327934&fbclid=IwAR1CNWDOveSlDEbBeFNvU5d95fGM4xEWde7fvPsi6e_MoFzOTRaOfx7_62U

Welcome to the club, Anna. Hobson’s Pledge spokespersons have faced allegations of racism for years while questioning policies of racial preferment.

Meanwhile, during the lockdown, non-essential workers hired by the ancestor mountain authority demolished the protest camp on Mount Albert on the flimsy pretext that it was a Covid-19 risk.

Police support was claimed but a check with the police revealed they knew nothing about the demolition. See https://mailchi.mp/81e36faf03f2/honour-the-maunga-saving-345-trees-on-owairaka-mt-albert-9276398?e=92861ae63d

Meanwhile, the trees on Mt Albert will be safe until the outcome is known of a judicial review that was originally set down for March. The review only covers Mt Albert.

The Honour the Maunga group had, until the Covid-19 lockdown, occupied Owairaka/Mt Albert for five months to save 345 trees.

20,722 sign coastal petition

Our petition which asks Parliament to amend the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 to restore public ownership of the coastal area, put all claims through the High Court, and repeal customary marine title, while affirming customary rights has picked up 20,722 signatures. We need your support. The petition may be signed at https://www.change.org/beaches4all Even if you have signed, you may follow the link to ask your social media friends.

What’s happening at Ihumatao?

Our petition for the Government to allow both Te Kawerau a Maki and Fletchers to proceed with their lawful business, has collected 2966 signatures. If you have not done so already, please sign our petition at  http://chng.it/xPN6P55k

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