Activists from Matt McCarten’s by-election campaign in Mana have been involved in a symbolic protest to highlight the crisis in housing faced by working class people in the area and New Zealand as a whole. 3 News reported that the vacant state house in Cannon’s Creek had been occupied by protestors in order for a family currently living in a garage to move in. Shortly after the news item was aired, police arrived at the house and arrested four people, including two Workers Party members who were visiting the house to provide their campaign comrades with food. The police demanded that the four signed non-association orders as a condition of bail. The activists face court on Tuesday at 9am.
The campaign will be hosting a block party outside the property in Calliope Crescent this Saturday from 12-3pm. Matt McCarten has commented that: “The State will let working class people wait on housing lists for seven years. Occupy an empty house and they’ll arrest you in seven minutes.”
The Workers Party demand the charges against the activists are dropped immediately, and that the anti-democratic non-association orders are quashed.