Police presence continues at Ihumatao

Press Release – New Zealand Police

Attribute to Superintendent Jill Rogers, Counties Manukau District Commander:

A Police presence remained at Ihumatao overnight, along with a small group of protestors.

There were no issues during the night and the demonstrators were peaceful.

This morning a number of protestors attempted to obstruct a Fletcher’s truck from gaining access through the cordon.

One of the protestors put their own safety at risk by climbing on to the truck and wedging themselves between the cabin and the tray, forcing the truck to stop to prevent any serious injuries.

Police were able to remove the woman, who was checked by medical staff to ensure she was not injured.

She will be facing charges of obstruction and unlawfully on a vehicle.

A second person will be given a pre-charge warning for obstruction before being released.

Police at the cordon had to use pepper spray on two large uncontrolled and aggressive dogs this morning.

Police fully recognise the lawful right to protest, however we also need ensure the right of others to go about their lawful business.

We urge protestors to continue to act peacefully and not behave in a manner that puts their own safety or the safety of others at risk.

Overall the behaviour of the protestors has been peaceful, however it is disappointing when a small number of people behave in an unsafe and reckless manner, requiring Police to respond appropriately.

Police have been aware of the long-standing situation at Ihumatao and we have been involved in ongoing negotiations with all parties concerned for an extended period of time with the aim of reaching a peaceful mediated outcome.

Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, Police were unable to facilitate a peaceful outcome between all the parties involved.

Police arrived at Ihumatao yesterday morning to assist with the enforcement of an eviction notice on a group of people who were unlawfully occupying the site.

Police staff have supported local Kaumatua and Maori Wardens, who were also at Ihumatao yesterday morning encouraging the unlawful occupants to leave the site peacefully.

Upon arrival yesterday two unlawful occupants inside the site left peacefully.

A number of people have gathered at the Police cordon since yesterday morning.

Three people at the cordon were arrested yesterday afternoon for obstructing Police and were given formal warnings.

Police have remained on site to ensure the safety of everyone present and prevent any breach of the peace, while also allowing Fletcher Living to go about their lawful business.

Police will remain at the site until the situation has been resolved.

ENDS

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