Mana movement AGM: A socialist report

April 18, 2012

By Mike Kay and Jared Phillips

Around 200 activists from the Mana movement gathered for its AGM hui at Mataikotare Marae on the shores of Lake Rotorua over the weekend of 24-25 March. The programme, including speeches, debates, practical workshops and waiata showed Mana to be a vibrant and maturing movement.

The event opened with guest speakers, the most inspiring being Dayle Takitimu of Te Whanau-a-Apanui. She focused on the struggle against oil exploration by petroleum giants in the Ruakumara Basin, but in the process delivered broadsides on a number of wider issues.

Te Whanau-a-Apanui are “tangaroa people,” explained Takitimu. The iwi was determined to uphold “te mana o te whenua - mana of the whenua; not mana over the whenua, as some iwi leaders would have it.” Speaking of the draconian Search and Surveillance Act, Takitimu described it as “the coloniser inside our living room.” She detailed her iwi’s continual struggle against the Crown, drawing applause for her observation that “it’s no coincidence that Parliament is shaped like a beehive - the role of bees is to protect their queen.” Read the rest of this entry »

Analysis and photos: Mass demonstration in Gisborne for repair of rail link

April 18, 2012

Crowded Gisborne railway station, Grey Street.

By writers for The Spark

On April 14 approximately 2000 Gisborne people and others who travelled from the nearby Wairoa township mobilised to demand the reinstatement of the Gisborne-to-Napier rail line which is under threat. People on the demonstration were angry and frustrated because the New Zealand Railways Corporation (NZRC) which trades as KiwiRail had still not committed to rebuild the line after it was damaged by storms in the previous month, and this is still the case.

It was due to a lack of maintenance that the track was badly damaged in several places. In one place between Gisborne and the Mahia Peninsula metres of track are suspended because of a preventable slip. It is broadly felt by those who demonstrated that central government doesn’t care about Gisborne because of its regional isolation. Read the rest of this entry »


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