Mau Whenua Was Not Responsible For FB Comment; Police Complaint Comes To Nothing; Councillors Invited To Occupation Site
Social media comments featured in the Dominion Post last week did not come from Mau Whenua, the group occupying Shelly Bay or from one of the group’s leaders Dr Catherine Love. On Monday 15 February last week an out of context Facebook comment about two Wellington city councillors was featured in the news, linking the comment to the Mau Whenua occupation in Shelly Bay that aims to have the land returned to its rightful Maori owners. The story said the police were investigating and quoted both councillors, the mayor, the WCC chief executive and the Port Nicholson trust implicitly blaming Mau Whenua for the comment.
But, says Mau Whenua, the whole thing appears to have been a political stunt. “Contrary to what councillor Jill Day implied, neither Mau Whenua or Dr Love made the quoted comment against them. The social media comment never appeared on a Mau Whenua site and our Mau Whenua colleague Dr Catherine Love did not write, ‘like’ or share the comment made on her personal Facebook site.”
“The comment did not come from Mau Whenua or Dr Love.”
The police contacted Dr Love on Friday and said they had informed Jill Day that the file on her complaint had been investigated. The complaint was found to be without merit and was now closed. No further action will be taken.
Dr Love asked the media to avoid the temptation to sensationalise de-contextualised comments, or to become a tool for political interests to use to foment division. Asked if she would be pushing for Councillor Day to face charges of wasting police time, Dr Love said “the police have more important things to worry about.” But she hoped that Councillors could learn to rise above petty political point-scoring at the expense of Māori or the community as a whole.
A Mau Whenua representative said “our focus continues to be working for the return of our ancestral land; preserving this whenua as a space that all Wellingtonians can enjoy rather than only those who can afford luxury housing built on stolen land.”