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Otaraua hapu save wahi tapu from oil pipeline

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The Otaraua hapu in Taranaki began packing up their occupation camp today after finally protecting their wahi tapu, from Greymouth Petroleum's new pipeline.

After occupying the entrance to the well site and disrupting work on the new well for more than two months, the hapu's request to have Tikorangi Pa officially identified as a wahi tapu by the New Plymouth District Council, was approved for an independent review last night.

After previously demanding a written agreement from GMP, the hapu informed Greymouth Petroleum via fax yesterday, stating it was willing to accept a verbal statement by CEO Mark Dunphy that GMP would not drill a pipeline through Tikorangi Pa. The hapu seem confident that the District Council review, due out in a few months, will provide the protection they need for their pa.

Mr Doorbar said while the occupation had brought the hapu together and closer to achieving a common goal, the fight was "not over".

"It is important oil companies who work in our communities understand the impact they have, not just on tangata whenua but on the wider farming community … for ourselves we feel we have achieved the outcomes of why we undertook this occupation. Greymouth Petroleum did not drill through Tikorangi Pa. It remains to be seen whether or not we have to return to any form of peaceful occupation in the future."

Updates: Day 11 | Day 17 | Day 55

Massive Hikoi against the Super City in Auckland

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Yesterday around 10,000 people took to the streets of Auckland to oppose the National-ACT place governance of Auckland under the control of one 'Super City'.

The planned Super City does not include Maori representation. It also places all of Auckland's assets, such as water and the ports, under the control of one authority - meaning they would be much easier for a right-wing council to privatise. Under a Super City structure only very wealthy candidates will be able to stand because the planned Council Wards are so huge.

Squirrel from Resistance Photography has written a report of the demo and made an excellent photo essay. [More]

We Don't Need a Cycle Lane, We'll Just Take the Whole Bridge!

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Today was the 50th birthday of the Auckland Harbour Bridge. At 9am, thousands of people attended a protest organised by the Get Across Campaign at the Curran St on-ramp calling for pedestrian and cycle access to the harbour bridge. Wayne McDonald, the Auckland regional director for the New Zealand Transport Agency told the crowd repeatedly he would not let them across, despite the fact that police were standing by to cooperate at his word.

Realising that simply asking wasn't going to get results, people began walking calmly around the newly erected chain link fence and straight through the police lines. Thousands of people streamed onto the bridge; walking, cycling and pushing prams, they laughed, shouted and sang their way all the way across and all the way back. Traffic was completely stopped for about 90 minutes.

The support shown today for pedestrian and cycle access to the harbour bridge was enormous and will be hard for Transit to ignore. Especially if people show up again next Sunday as many were suggesting!

Links: Get Across Campaign | Cycle Action Auckland

Auckland University Student wraps up hunger strike.

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Auckland university student Stu Colquhoun today finished his hunger strike in support of Tamils being attacked by the Sri Lankan military. The hunger strike which went for six days was to draw attention to the huge loss of civilian life in the recent conflict between the Sri Lankan Military and the LTTE. Stu and the Tamil Supporters group which was recently formed at Auckland University are calling for open access for aid agencys to the conflict zone and immediate action by the New Zealand government to support those harmed in recent fighting.

HIKOI KI TAMAKI - Update

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"We will march on the 25th of May, Bastion Point Day, the anniversary of the day the nation remembers with horror as the largest single state operation in Aotearoa … when a joint police/army operation surrounded those in peaceful occupation, arrested 222 people on Takaparawha, and demolished Arohanui, Tamaki's greatest living marae of recent memory." - Hone Harawira

We want the Crown to honour its exisiting agreements with Tangata Whenua.

To create better and more diverse representation in local government
To protect mana whenua rights
To protect the land, sea and people

HIKOI PLAN: On May 25 marchers will converge at the bottom of Queen Street by 12 noon before peacefully walking together to the Town Hall and Aotea Square.

Links: IHI Aotearoa | Community Coalition for Auckland: Voices of Tamaki Makaurau | Stop the Super City Ripoff

Victoria University kicks out students for anti-war protest

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Victoria University has disenrolled three students for an anti-war protest around Anzac day, and issued a warning to another student.

Deborah Willis, Dean of the Humanities faculty, has disenrolled Joel Cosgrove and Alastair Reith, claiming a flag burning protest they held was serious misconduct. Ian Anderson who filmed the protest outside the Mount Street bar on campus has also been disenrolled, and Marika Pratley who was present, was issued a warning. The university has also banned all four from the Mount Street bar.

The protest on 6 May was to highlight New Zealand involvement in wars of aggression from the Boer War, the World Wars, Vietnam to Afghanistan.

All four students are members of the Workers Party.

“The 20 second flag burning, which took place outside, in the rain, posed no danger to anyone” said Workers Party secretary Daphna Whitmore. “Universities are supposed to be the critical conscience of society. The actions of the University are political harassment and an attack on political freedom of expression on campus” she said.

More: 2007 ANZAC Day leaflet | WP leaflet: The flag is symbolic, imperialism is real | Video: Flag burning at VUWSA meeting

Auckland University Student on Hunger Strike

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Auckland University student Stu Colquhoun is today on his third day of a hunger strike in support of the Tamil people. Stu is holding a 24 hour vigil at Auckland Uni along with several other students and members of the Tamil community. The vigil is part of an attempt to put pressure on AUSA and the New Zealand government to act in support of the Tamil population. The group holding the Vigil became an affiliated Auckland club today at the public meeting before the politicians debate.

Politicians Rally at Auckland University

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Politicians from all the major political parties gathered at Auckland University today in a debate organised as part of eco fest. The debate felt like a circus as dozens of supporters holding placards jostled each other in an attempt to get their placard to the front. Macabre cut outs of national MP Melissa Lee’s head floated above the crowd whilst jeering labour party supporters crowded the railings above the speakers.

"Let them eat cake!" - NDU sells out clothing workers

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The National Distribution Union has announced that it's response to 186 of clothing manufacturer Lane Walker Rudkin's (LWR) 470 staff being made redundant - (102 in Christchurch, 61 in Greytown, 19 in Pahiatua and four in Auckland) - is to hold a cake stall. LWR is New Zealand's oldest unionised company, a company which in recent years has been forced to endure incompetent management as a result of the break up of Ken and Patricia Anderson, the owners. The bank, Westpac, won't even pay redundancy payouts. The NDU's response to trying to keep jobs in what should actually be a profitable company has been called a "great initiative". It is actually nothing more than a sell out of the people who pay the salaries of union bureaucrats. A real path of resistance would be immediate occupation of all LWR factories and plants and the reorganisation of the company as a workers' cooperative. Even an occupation of a Westpac bank to get the redundancy money is better than baking a cake. The NDU's response has been an absolute disgrace to New Zealand workers.

"Well, with the world economy now looking remarkably like Argentina's in 2001 (and for many of the same reasons) there is a new wave of direct action among workers in rich countries. Co-ops are once again emerging as a practical alternative to more lay-offs. Workers in the U.S. and Europe are beginning to ask the same questions as their Latin American counterparts: Why do we have to get fired? Why can't we fire the boss? Why is the bank allowed to drive our company under while getting billions of dollars of our money?" - Naomi Klien and Avi Lewis in The Cure for Layoffs: Fire the Boss!

Video: “The Worker Control Solution from Buenos Aires to Chicago” | The Take -a film about how workers in Argentina took over the factories abandoned by their owners | Facebook group: Bake a cake for LWR workers

Worker's struggle: libcom.org | Anarcho-Syndicalism 101 | LabourStart | Infoshop - Fire Your Boss

Community action in Mt. Roskill against the motorway

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On Friday the 15th of May a dozen Mt.Albert/Roskill/Waterview community members and a dozen local anarchists crashed the official opening of the SH20 motorway extension through Roskill that will meet up with a new motorway through Mt. Albert and Waterview to form the proposed Western Ring Route. Video of motorway protest

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