The protests were widely covered by the media, with excellent coverage by both TVNZ and 3News. I was at the Auckland march where a couple of hundred people turned up to rally in Albert Park and then march to the ACC offices in Sale Street.
Dr Kim McGregor from Rape Prevention Education addressed the rally in her capacity as a therapist. Dr McGregor did a study of sexual abuse counselling for her PhD and wrote the existing ACC guidelines. She has promised to resign as an ACC registered therapist if these new guidelines are implemented.
Labour MP and spokesperson for victim’s rights Lynne Pillay also addressed the rally, and made it clear that these cuts are just the first of many cuts to ACC being implemented by the National Government. ACC claiming these cuts are in the interests of survivors is just a cynical way of trying to keep the public in the dark.
The march down to the ACC offices was lively, and the crowd was outraged but determined and peaceful.
Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin also had a great turnout. In Wellington, Labour leader Phil Goff and Green MP Catherine Delahunty addressed the march, making it clear that the opposition are fully behind the fight to stop these proposed guidelines being implemented.
Big ups to the Auckland police, who while a little annoyed at not being given notice of the protest, acted very professionally and did a great job of clearing traffic for the march. I acted as police liaison for the Auckland march, and was very impressed by the empathy and professionalism shown by the police who responded to the protest.