Press release: Housing Crisis Day of Action 2013

On the 7th of November the THG along with groups from Pomare and Maraenui marched on parliament to deliver a petition to the beehive demanding:
 -All Housing New Zealand “urban renewal” programmes in Glen Innes, Maraenui, Pomare and other areas be halted so communities can discuss and negotiate the “renewals” with Housing New Zealand.
-All 90-day eviction notices for “urban renewal” programmes be withdrawn pending the outcome of community negotiations with affected communities. -The criteria for access to a HNZ home revert to the requirements prior to July 2011.
-Vacant state houses in all NZ communities be immediately let to families in crisis.
-The company to oversee housing redevelopment in Tamaki – the Tāmaki Redevelopment Company be disestablished immediately.
-Reopen all Housing New Zealand offices around the country.
-A major state-house building and renovation programme be started – aim to build 20,000 new state houses within two years.
The group travelled down on Tuesday and met with the Tu Tangata Maraenui group at Wainuiomata Marae and stayed there for the night.

The next day started off bright and early, and after a feed and a couple of waiata the groups made their way to the civic centre to start setting up. Placards covered the square, and there was time to get some last minute signatures and chat to some of the Welly locals about the housing crisis. The Pomare crew arrived in style wearing matching tee shirts and after a few hugs and kisses the rally begun with our own Lisa Gibson MCing in style. Residents from each group including Princess from Pomare, Chantelle from Maraenui and Maxy from G.I. told their story and why they were there as well as activists  Mike Smith and John Minto and Nick from UOA representing the students. After the korero it was time to hit the streets and our Yvonne led the way on the megaphone with “WHEN HOUSING RIGHTS ARE UNDER ATTACK…STAND UP FIGHT BACK”, “1,2,3,4 STOP THE WAR ON THE POOR” and “JOHN KEY, YOU’VE BEEN TOLD WE DON’T WANT OUR HOUSES SOLD.” The groups marched as one through Wellington city centre and there was a real buzz in the air as we made our way to the beehive.
On arrival at the beehive, and after a few chants some more locals got up and explained each point of the petition and why each one is important. Then the mic was handed to the politicians who had come out to support the kaupapa, including some words from Hone, whose part in the struggle and tireless fighting for the people was not ignored as he approached the mic. Other politicians included Annette King from the Labour party and Holly Walker from the Green Party.
The day had almost wrapped up when John Banks walked out of parliament to sign a petition against shark finning. While a good cause, this wasn’t a good time for Banksy to show his bigoted face and the people, mostly the younger ones told him exactly what they thought about his conservative, short-sighted, profit-driven policies. Unfortunately the media were more interested in that than the Housing Crisis and the real issues, but this isn’t surprising considering the human interest stories that made the news that night…..pinot noir, beer, and a man in a tree.
Aside from all of that, the march and the day previous did something really strong: it unified us -the people- even more so than before, and it gave the resistance even more energy and momentum than it already had. Coming together and fighting as one against the destruction of communities is just what this government and its corporate buddies is afraid of- and they should know that this is far from burning out. This is just the beginning of the resistance and it’s only going to get bigger and stronger… STAND UP FIGHT BACK!
“He moana pukepuke ka ekengia e te waka.”
No matter how fierce the waters of Tangaroa, as a collective we will conquer them together.