As the Sir Graham Latimer and the Maori Council launch their bid to halt asset sales in the Waitangi Tribunal, the grassroots campaign is gathering steam too. This Saturday is to be a National Day of Action.
John Key, showing his usual respect for due process, the rule of law and other people’s opinions, tells us that National may ignore the Waitangi Tribunal anyway, but the process has the potential to at least delay the sale of Mighty River Power.
And any delay may give more time for petition signatures to be gathered ahead of the event. As signatures rapidly head towards the 200,000 mark, there is a distinct possibility that a delayed sale will mean the petition is submitted – with more than 10% of New Zealanders signed up – before anything is put on the block.
The Greens now apparently hold the lead with 72,000 signatures gathered before the weekend, and there will now be a friendly competition between the 2 main left political parties’ activists as they try and gather most. By the time the rest of the coalition – Grey Power, Student Associations, Unions and Greenpeace – have their signatures added, the numbers are rising fast.
It’s slow work (my friend and I got another 50 signatures at the weekend…) – even a popular petition like this gathers about 25-30 signatures per person-hour put in – but the fact that hundreds of activists are willing to spend tens of thousands of hours gathering the signatures, and the fact that people are so willing to sign, should really hammer home the message to this willfully-deaf government.
And so Saturday is to be a National Day of Action. There will be events in Auckland (2pm Britomart), Christchurch (2pm Riccarton Rd – Great Press!), Wellington (2pm Venue TBC), Dunedin (11am Octagon), Hamilton (10am Te Rapa Rd), as well as Hokianga, Napier, Taranaki, Whanganui, Palmerston North and Nelson. See Aotearoa Is Not For Sale for details, and if your town isn’t included – tell them and organise something yourself!