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Community to rally in Christchurch for Ihumātao


Community groups are holding a rally in Christchurch today, calling on the Government to end the deadlock at Ihumātao and negotiate for the disputed land’s protection. Ihumātao, considered wāhi tapu or sacred land, was confiscated by the Government when it expelled Māori from Auckland.

“As a city we talk a lot about heritage and how important historic places are and the importance of preserving them,” says People Against Prisons Aotearoa’s Christchurch spokesperson, Phoebe Moran. “If we care about protecting historic places that has to include Māori history and precolonial history.”

“The land at Ihumātao is stolen. Fletcher has no right to develop it. The Government can, should, and must buy the land back to preserve it. Our rally today will call on Duncan Webb, our local MP, to stand with us in supporting the land protectors at Ihumātao,” says Moran.

The police escalated the conflict over Ihumātao’s future on Monday by evicting dozens of protesters from the land. In response, hundreds of land protectors have camped out in the surrounding area, blocking off any route for construction equipment.

“Ihumātao is a precious taonga that belongs to all of Aotearoa. From Tāmaki Makaurau to Ōtautahi, across the whole length of the whenua, we will do whatever we must to protect Ihumātao.”

The rally will be meeting at the Bridge of Remembrance at 12pm. Attendees will then make their way to the office of Duncan Webb, MP for Christchurch Central, at 282 Durham Street North. They expect a family atmosphere.

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