Topic: Indigenous

No arrests in peaceful protest at Ihumātao

By Taroi Black
  • Auckland

Peaceful protesters group SOUL has cleared Ihumātao Quarry Road but will continue to protest, preventing Fletcher Buildings from starting construction of 480 homes.

Group leader Pania Newton says, “Right now we're not blocking the road.  We're still in discussion with the police on a way forward.” 

Police confirmed that SOUL protestors who are against the development of 480 homes were illegally blocking the road.

“We're staying put until the land is returned,” says Newton.

Roger Gummer, one of the activists, says he's prepared to put his body on the line.

“We're working hard on solutions that are much more eased-through transitions...other than having a punch-up.  We're also preparing for a big fight so whatever it takes we'll do it.”

Fletcher Building is working in partnership with Te Kawerau a Maki, which represents the mana whenua of Ihumātao, to ensure their approach to developing the land supports their views, aspirations and protects the surrounding area.

A spokesperson from Te Kawerau a Maki told Te Ao Māori News next month a decision of 40 affordable homes for the iwi will be made and who will move into them.

“The special housing in the housing accord act, it talks about affordable housing and here it would be around $450,000, that sort of region, quite expensive from what I know.”

Police also confirmed with Te Ao Māori News they understand protestors are not currently blocking the road and no arrests have been made.