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Supercity: Govt Plans Large Concentration Camp

Posted by te2ataria on April 15, 2009

Maori seats are a MUST!

Maori meet to protest supercity plans

By DAVID GADD – Stuff.co.nz

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/2335858/Maori-meet-to-protest-supercity-plans

A call for mass public protest is going out today to Aucklanders unhappy with the Government’s supercity plans.

Around 300 Maori and civic leaders are meeting at Auckland’s Orakei Marae on Bastion Point to plan protest action.

Ngati Whatua is organising the meeting but spokesman Grant Hawke says they want to reach out to all Aucklanders – other ethnic groups and Pakeha.

He says many Aucklanders simply don’t understand the consequences of the supercity proposal. He says it is all about business, such as organising retailing of water.

What has been lost is adequate local representation.

Maori in particular have been badly treated, he says.

The Royal Commission report on Auckland governance, compiled after extensive consultation over 17 months, recommended two elected Maori seats on the new super city council and one appointed seat from local Maori or mana whenua.

But the Government overturned those proposals for Maori seats.

“They have set us loose on the waka without a paddle,” says Mr Hawke.

But it is not solely a Maori issue, he says.

Other groups also feel disenfranchised and Maori hope to be a rallying point and pull protest together.

“This is about trying to use our mana within the city,” he says.

He says protest is needed because “protest makes a point. Otherwise we just sit down and do nothing and the Government thinks we don’t care.”

And he points to today’s meeting happening at Bastion Point – land that shows passive protest can work to bring changes.

He wants to see marches through Auckland and letter writing campaigns to sway the Government.

Mr Hawke has ruled out a hikoi to Wellington however because of time constraints.

The Government is fast-tracking legislation to start the supercity and Mr Hawke says protest action of ‘magnitude’ is needed by April 26 for the first reading of legislation.

Also attending today’s meeting is Pita Sharples of the Maori Party which is angered at the scrapping of the three Maori seats.

Copyright DAVID GADD/ Stuff.nz

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