Press Release – Mana Party
Thirteen arrests were made last night as the government moved two more state houses from Glen Innes with the aim to socially and ethnically cleanse areas of the suburb for high-cost housing.
Last night’s protest was the largest late-night protest yet and brought the largest number of arrests as well as long delays in moving the houses.
The police and Housing New Zealand have been trying to paint the protests as the work of outsiders and the police make often strenuous efforts to avoid arresting local residents in favour of people they know from outside the area. That changed last night with the arrest of one of the local women trying to prevent police manhandling of other protestors.
Community concern is growing across Glen Innes, Point England and Panmure at government plans to “redevelop” the area, not for local residents but for higher income families from outside the area. The locals will be forced to “relocate” to South or West Auckland.
The 13 arrested – including Mana Vice President John Minto – will appear in the Auckland District Court on Monday.
In the meantime Mana will be supporting a march to parliament next Wednesday (12noon from Civic Square) made up of delegations from Glen Innes (Auckland) , Maraenui (Napier) and Pomare (Lower Hutt).
The delegations will present the following petition to parliament:
To the House of Representatives
We the undersigned respectfully request that the New Zealand House of Representatives accept that quality affordable housing is a state responsibility and take immediate action to sort out the current housing crisis for low-income New Zealanders and in particular act to ensure -
· All Housing New Zealand “urban renewal” programmes in Glen Innes, Maraenui, Pomare and other areas be halted so communities can discuss and negotiate the “renewals” with Housing New Zealand.
· All 90-day eviction notices for “urban renewal” programmes be withdrawn pending the outcome of community negotiations with affected communities.
· The criteria for access to a HNZ home revert to the requirements prior to July 2011.
· Vacant state houses in all NZ communities be immediately let to families in crisis.
· The company to oversee housing redevelopment in Tamaki – the Tāmaki Redevelopment Company – be disestablished immediately.
· Reopen all Housing New Zealand offices around the country.
· A major state-house building and renovation programme be started – aim to build 20,000 new state houses within two years.