Ihumātao protest incorporates Waikato Invasion

updated By Heeni Brown

Opponents to a major housing development at Ihumātao held a protest in Mangatāwhiri today to remind New Zealanders of what they say is the Crown's duplicity in historical land dealings. 

Organiser Pania Newton says, "Even though this is 2017 our land is still being confiscated by the Crown and it's a type of gentrification that whole development at Puketāpapa." 

The move follows their eviction from the construction site at Ihumātao.

Around 20 people walked the rural end of Great South Road in Pokeno, which included some Ihumātao residents who continue to protest Fletcher Residential's 500 home development of the Ōtuataua Stonefields in South Auckland.

"Some of us are from Ihumātao and some of us are like our Treaty partners, so we also have our pākeha relations here with us commemorating the Invasion of Waikato and all New Zealand wars. It's a time for us to remember those who fought in those wars."
For the past three days, they have been walking from Ōtāhūhū in the north and are nearing the end of their 50km journey to Pokeno in the south. 

Brendan Corbett says, "Today is significant because today was the day these militia armies and British armies and local farming militia got to Mangatāwhiri. And they camped there, so this walk hasn't been done for 154 years. So that's the significance at that level, but it's also such a solemn occasion that we have to remember that event that happened and then our modern history is the result of this single act that happens tomorrow morning at dawn."

Tonight, the group will camp at Mangatāwhiri river and tomorrow, will look to remember the day the British militia crossed the boundary line - Te Pou o Mangatāwhiri and invaded the Waikato more than 150 years ago.