Alternate forms of protest

Written By: - Date published: 5:41 pm, March 4th, 2010 - 27 comments
Categories: activism, auckland supercity, democracy under attack, humour, local government, mt albert, police - Tags: , ,

Now this is pretty damn funny and just adds to todays absurdities over the waste of money on rugby world cup TV in 2011. From Granny Herald with the title “Minto Walkway sparks outrage“.

Veteran Springbok Tour protester John Minto has found himself at the centre of a new Eden Park storm, with a controversial plan to name a nearby road after him.

The Eden Albert community board has recommended a link lane – being built for next year’s Rugby World Cup – be named either Minto, Mandela or Porangi (crazy) Walkway.

The board is against the road and chose the names Minto and former South African President Nelson Mandela for their connection to the 1981 Springbok Tour and porangi – Maori for “crazy” – because of the amount of money being spent on the project.

I was there in 1981 for a long peaceful protest at the 3rd test until the police violently ‘cleared’ the street. I then had to go to the hospital to get stitches in my lip after an policeman with a switched badge number tested his baton on my face (and Judith Collins wonders at the lack of respect for police?).

I think that it is a wonderful idea to use any of these names to mark the local history. It is also an effective protest for this $3 million dollar cost lumped onto the ratepayers for this road. However I’m sure that there are going to be a pile of humorless whiners who don’t think that.

I grew up in Mt Albert within walking distance of Eden Park. One of these names will effectively mark the history of the 1981 Springbok tour far better than some old rugby player. I suspect that many of the local community there will feel the same, not only about the historical import, but also about the excessive costs to them as ratepayers.

Mr Minto said it was nice of the board to think of him, but he would not support the proposal. “In reality it’s just poking a bit of fun at the council for spending all this money.”

Mike Smith, of the city council’s business development unit, said new roads could not have the same name as an existing one and there was already a Minto Rd in Remuera.

Now what will be interesting to watch will be the reaction of our local dictators in the Auckland Transition Authority. Will they allow local community boards under the Auckland super-shitty to name local streets? Or will this go into their pile of things that they think should be handled by one of the ubiquitous unelected corporate entities run by the Minister of Local Government (Rodney Hide) that are swallowing up most of the decision making in city?

27 comments on “Alternate forms of protest”

  1. Neil 1

    so you have no time for the argument that the money spent on the RWC will benefit NZ via exposure overseas, increased visitors, and now -with MTS having broadcast rights – a show case for te reo and maori enterprise?

    it’s adding up to a lot of money and I’m not a huge fan but I think that argument has merit.

    • Mr Magoo 1.1

      This road is not that.

      Just because an event might do that does not justify ever hair brained idea that comes out to support it. This walkway it going to knock 2 mins off traveling time and only be useful for this event anyway. Other forms of reducing travel time could be used that did not cost so much and actually did something useful.

      Not so much as an argument as taking a liberty. Or taking our liberty?

      Who can tell anymore? Everything this government ends up doing nowadays is a joke!

      And how is the government involved in a local council issue you might ask?!

      Ask Rodney. The evil canary, not the Auckland district – they have no say anymore.

  2. Neil 2

    if it was named after Biko then it would be a monument to liberty. and for 3 mil not a bad deal.

  3. kaplan 3

    Great ideas for naming suggestions, I hope they get one of them.
    Re. the funding. I think the great sadness is that New Zealand missed out on an opportunity to have a world class venue built on the Auckland waterfront instead of this Eden Park revamp.

  4. lprent 4

    I suspect Neil that you have missed the whole point of the post. The world cup does nothing much for eden-Albert apart from being a frigging nuisance before during and after the games.

    None of the building work does anything for the area after the games are done. The damn cars from the games clutter up the area because the park has insuffient parking.

    Why should Eden-Albert have to put up with the nuisance for the benefit of whom?

    • Neil 4.1

      that’s why I supported the waterfront stadium option. I can see why some locals might not be impressed.

      but having the games means being stuck with Eden Park as a venue and I still think the games will be a benefit to NZ as a whole and local residents have had rugby on their doorstep for a while now and they’ll also get improved public transportation infrastructure.

      • lprent 4.1.1

        They already has an improved transport infrastructure. That was all put in during the double tracking of the western rail line.

        As far as I can see, none of the other changes are there for anything else apart from Eden Park and really only useful during this world cup. I’m not even sure that they will be particularly useful even then.

        What would be useful long-term is to put a multi-story parking building on the site. But rugby should pay for that – they need it during their normal matches. I’d suggest that they should go into collaboration with the council, put residents parking only for the surrounding area, with rapid and fast towing, and charge like wounded bulls for parking in the building. Gets rid of the weekend and evening parking issues and encourages the use of public transport especially the train station next door.

    • Rob 4.2

      Bollocks, I live in Eden / Albert and I and my children and friends cannot wait.

      • lprent 4.2.1

        For what?

        Question is how far are you away from the park… Eden-Albert is quite large

        • Rob

          Just off Dom Rd, Mt eden side, what we are looking forward to is the flavour of the event before and after the games. It will be great with all the international visitors and even before a std test match the atmosphere is great.

          NZ hosting the RWC is apololitcal, it depresses me when people run it down because they cannot see past there own nose. Lets get behind this, lets put our best foot forward.

          Well now thats off my chest…and I dont work for the Rugby Union, LOL.

  5. Lindsey 5

    If we have to have $3 million spent on a bit of road which will only be useful for Eden Park, then at least they should name it after someone we all know, not some boring old rugby fart. It also is important to recognise that for many of us rugby is as much about Minto and Mandela as it is about Meads and Mexted.

  6. I think it is a great idea and giving the road a name to commemorate a significant event in New Zealand’s history is so right.

    The Community Board ought to be congratulated for its foresight.

    If not John then there are a few other names that could be considered.

    Andrew Beyer Lane?
    Newnham Place?
    Cuthbert Close?
    What about Clown Lane to commemorate one of the most despicable incidents of Police history when a couple of clowns were batoned senselessly?

    Clown Lane has a ring about it.

    • Graham 6.1

      Clown Lane – Minto Lane – both the same, aren’t they 🙂

      • lprent 6.1.1

        Are you referring to the clowns in 1981 that some police beat the crap out of?

        • Graham

          Whether the police beat the crap out of him or not, doesn’t change the fact that he is a clown.

          John Minto may well have valid viewpoints. He may well believe whole-heartedly in what he protests about. But unfortunately he has lost a lot of credibility over the years because:

          1. He has become the classic “rent-a-crowd” protestor. Name a cause, name a protest, and there’s a good chance John Minto will be in the thick of it.

          2. He has no understanding or appreciation of the rights of other people. He believes so much in the importance of what he is protesting, that he has no compunction about trampling over the rights of other people. The end justifies the means.

          3. Time and again, he targets people who are just doing their job, their hobby, whatever, and drags them unwillingly into the spotlight for his own purposes.

          4. He berates anybody who dares disagree with him, along with other protesters who he doesn’t agree with, while passionately defending his own right to protest and claiming he is being censored (hello; pot calling kettle black).

          5. He craves the spotlight; much of what he does seems deliberately designed to garner as much attention as possible, even if it is at the expense of effectiveness.

          He is an embarrassment to this country.

          • lprent

            You appear to be truly ignorant – at least of the 1981 tour. The police beat the crap out of some people dressed up as clowns who weren’t even in the protest.

            From what I’ve seen of John Minto, he avoids the media unless he has to. He protests on the issues that he cares about, and they have been remarkably consistent across the decades. He is so meticulous about the rights of others that the police have rarely arrested him (where they have as in the recent tennis tournament, the police will be shown by the courts to have acted improperly). From what I’ve heard the only time that he has been known to ‘berate’ other protesters is when the silly buggers are breaking the law.

            You are an embarrassment to this country – you just fabricated all of your comment up (as well as being ignorant).

        • Brett Dale

          Maybe hes refering to the clowns (IDIOTS) that threw glass bottles at the police and damaged personal property. I dont remember seeing a lot of protestors just holding flowers. I remember As a kid a bunch of them was on new Brighton bridge as I walked pass, throwing items at the police who were just standing there.

          BTW I was 100% against the Tour.

          • Rob

            Yeah my Dad took me to that game, the bulk of the protesters were as bad as anyone. They gave a lot of the game crowd a lot of grief, why was that?

            • John

              Cause you and your dad were directly showing support for apartheid.

              Simple enough

              • Rob

                Really, no I was wasn’t and never was my dad, and dont ask me what his ethnicity is as your hole would get really deep.

  7. lprent 7

    Hah, all you have to do is name it “John Minto Road” and the naming objection disappears

  8. Lindsey 8

    The Eden Albert Community Board have already named a lane in Mt Eden after Tom Newnham. The Board has a proud history of recognising local heroes from the parts of the political spectrum which have been ignored by the predominant C&R majorities on many other Auckland City Community Boards.

  9. vto 9

    John Minto Road would be a good way of remembering that important piece of NZ history.

    lprent I probably walked right past you as a young fulla on the way to the third test. Funny ay, young rural northland rugby lad on way to test passes 20yr old city liberal protester, and here we are today still on (slightly) different sides of the fences. Seems ways get set young in lives.

  10. deemac 10

    it’s a good rule of thumb that you don’t get anything named after you until you are dead!

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