Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Peaceful Protesters Enter Pleas Of Not Guilty

Maori protesters who occupied a small piece of land at the Kapiti airport have appeared in the Porirua District Court today facing 23 counts of trespass and one of obstruction.

They have pleaded not guilty to the charges and have been remanded until September 2 for a status hearing.

The court hearing was attended by a group of about 30 supporters, who were subdued during proceedings. A small media contingent including two TV cameras was also present.

The protesters were moved off the land from 5pm on Monday, after being warned they were about to be evicted at 4.30pm. The arrested protesters were freed from Paraparaumu police station about 8.30pm.

Spokesperson for the Te Whanau Te A Ngarara protest group, George Jenkins, said in the meantime their invitation to Transport Minister Maurice Williamson and Justice Minister Doug Graham for discussions over the land was still in place.

While an invitation to the Kapiti airport company to come to some arrangement with the group was also open, Jenkins said the real dispute, and the impetus to resolve it, lay with the Crown.

The protesters say that airport land was taken from Kapiti Maori under the Public Works Act and should have been offered back to them when it was no longer required for aviation purposes.

Paraparaumu Airport Ltd bought the airport from the government in 1995 and has already re-sold some of the land.

The occupation was prompted by the airport applying to the Kapiti Council to rezone a further section of land from aviation to industrial use.

Inspector Jim Dunseath of the Porirua Police Station said 25 police officers from Wellington, Porirua and Paraparaumu were used to evict the occupiers after negotiations with the group stalled over the weekend.

Inspector Dunseath said the eviction and arrests were “extremely peaceful” and apart from the one obstruction charge all resistance was passive.

“The people involved in the protest gave us their word there would be no violence and they kept it,” he said.

The protestors had erected tents and shanty structures with large placards on part of the Airport company’s land. Signs read “privatisation sucks” and made references to APEC.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

27-29 Sept: Social Enterprise World Forum Live Blog

1600+ delegates from more than 45 countries have came together to share wisdom, build networks and discuss how to create a more sustainable future using social enterprise as a vehicle. Attending the Forum were social enterprise practitioners, social entrepreneurs, policy makers, community leaders, investors, activists, academics and more from across the globe... More>>

HiveMind Report: A Universal Basic Income For Aotearoa NZ

Results from this HiveMind suggests that an overwhelming majority of Kiwis believe that due to changing circumstances and inefficiencies in the current system, we need a better system to take care of welfare of struggling members in our society. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Hivemind: Medical Cannabis - Co-Creating A Policy For Aotearoa

Welcome to the fourth and final HiveMind for Scoop’s Opening the Election campaign for 2017. This HiveMind explores the question: what would a fair, humane and safe Medical Cannabis policy look like for Aotearoa, NZ in 2018? More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood: Notes On National’s Election Campaign, In Poem Form

Nationyl’s bitumen-ing / As they du du / Seed groweth / River floweth / Then ‘dozer drives thru / Highway ensu. More>>