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Occupation group will not be attending hui

Tree protection occupation group will not be attending Tūpuna Maunga Authority hui

The community group who is currently occupying Ōwairaka / Mt Albert says it will not be attending an upcoming hui on the maunga, called by Tūpuna Maunga Authority.

A spokesperson says the group had been trying, without success, to meet with the Authority since 6 November: “At every stage we have engaged with the Authority respectfully, with the utmost of integrity and an unwavering desire to meet them so that our many questions could be answered.

“In return, we feel we have been treated in a cynical and highly manipulative way that was clearly designed to back us into a corner so the Authority could claim we refused a meeting.”

“In our opinion, the Authority is being deliberately misleading in its assertions that we resisted their attempts to meet with us. In fact, the complete opposite applies!”

Honour The Maunga only learned of the hui was when journalists started calling for comment. The hui media release was emailed to many dozens of media, Auckland Councillors, etc. The Authority has never emailed it to the group representative who had been trying to arrange the meeting with the Authority.

Of the roughly 1100 words in the Authority’s media release, only 61 words relate to the hui itself. The remainder of the media release focuses on discrediting the community group occupying Mt Albert/ Ōwairaka.

“Honour The Maunga’s position on the hui is that we respect TMA’s right to hold a hui on the mountain and – as is the case for everyone apart from Treescape / contractors associated with tree-felling activities – we will do nothing to impede anybody’s access.”

We are, however, tired of being disrespected, toyed-with and manipulated. For these reasons, we will not be attending the hui and instead will hold our own gathering on the maunga.

Please note that we have consulted with tangata whenua whānau to ensure that our non-attendance at the hui is done in a culturally appropriate manner for Maori and non-Maori alike.

Tūpuna Maunga Authority has made it abundantly clear to us that negotiation has not been an option so far.

Therefore, we have no choice but to maintain our peaceful, lawful and respectful occupation of Mt Albert / Ōwairaka until we receive a binding agreement that the trees are safe.

Honour The Maunga is calling upon Tūpuna Maunga Authority not to use the event as an opportunity to attempt to bring in chainsaws and other equipment associated with tree-felling.

“To do so would be a clear sign that the hui is being held in bad-faith.”


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