Assault On Another Water Pressure Group Member
The Water Pressure Group Media Release Monday 29 May 2000
ASSAULT ON ANOTHER WATER PRESSURE GROUP MEMBER ALLEGED
On Saturday 27 May, Dean Hamilton, a foundation member of the Water Pressure Group, approached two sub-contract employees who were digging inside the property of a neighbour in the Sandringham street where Dean lives. Dean is also a member of Neighbourhood Watch and decided to question who the people were who were digging and the purpose of their operations.
Part of Dean's concern was that the workmen may have been disconnecting another Metrowater "customer". The two workers concerned were not prepared to answer any of Dean's questions, nor would they show any identification or authorisation permitting their entry onto peoples property when they not home, to excavate pipes.
Dean Hamilton then went back to his home and tried to telephone Stargate - the company subcontracting to Metrowater Ltd. Since it was a Saturday, there was no answer from Stargate, so Dean took a camera back along the street and snapped some photos of the workmen.
Dean claims that one of the workers took exception to this and strode up to him as he was putting the camera back into his pocket Dean Hamilton then alleges that he was hit in the face by that worker's fist - causing a cut lip and bruising.
Dean Hamilton then proceeded back to his home and telephoned the Police, who attended the address where the workmen were still engaged. Following enquiries, the Police representative informed Dean that a worker in the excavation at the time had seen nothing. Since there was no independent witness, the policeman felt that there was no point in pursuing the matter, and therefore stated that no charges would be laid over the alleged assault.
Dean Hamilton contacted Stargate today to ask them why their personnel do not carry identification tags, and he was put off by the person with whom he spoke.
Today, spokespersons for the Water Pressure Group, Jim Gladwin & Penny Bright said: "This is the second time in three weeks that Water Pressure Group members have been injured by others. In neither case have the police proceeded with assault charges, and the group is beginning to wonder whether the same latitude would be applied to our members if we became - even unintentionally - physical or defended ourselves. We suspect that we would be arrested immediately and charged."
"We are very concerned at this latest injury sustained by a member. We don't consider that Deans Hamilton's conduct on Saturday warranted such a reaction, and we are doubly surprised since we have been given to understand that all Metrowater and Stargate workers have completed anger management courses."
"The Water Pressure Group intends to take this matter further. Since the Police won't take action, we will contact the Mayor and Council, and the companies involved. We also intend to take the matter up with the Northern Amalgamated Workers' Union and the Trade Union Federation. Past efforts by the Water Pressure Group to open discussions with the union have not yet proven to be positive."
"The Water Pressure Group makes a special point of not being antagonistic toward water workers, but we are extremely concerned when our members are assaulted in the way that Dean Hamilton claims he was. It is time that we had a chat with the union that covers these workmen."
Interviews with Dean Hamilton can be arranged by contacting via ourselves on 09 828 4517. He has photos of the injury to his face.
Jim Gladwin & Penny Bright Media spokespersons
The Water Pressure Group
http://www.water-pressure-group.org.nz/ email: Water