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Harawira’s arrest

Written By: - Date published: 11:30 am, October 12th, 2012 - 70 comments
Categories: activism, hone harawira, housing - Tags: ,

On any other morning this would be the big political news story of the day:

Harawira arrest: ‘I wasn’t breaking the law’

Mana party MP Hone Harawira says police broke the window of his car before arresting him at a housing protest in east Auckland suburb of Glen Innes last night.

Seven others were arrested after a group of protesters occupied a state house which was to be removed in preparation for redevelopment of the area.

Mr Harawira told Radio New Zealand he went to the protest to support the people of Glen Innes who he said were being torn apart by the Government’s housing policy.

“I went out there and I was parked in my car opposite the truck and they came and smashed the window and arrested me and took me out.

“I didn’t actually go out there to get arrested, I didn’t go out there to break the law, as far as I was concerned I wasn’t breaking the law. I was only parked in a car listening to some music, supporting the people that were up on the houses, and the police chose to break the windows and arrest me.”

3 News has video up. I haven’t seen any mention of what, if anything, Harawira has been charged with, or what law he is accused of breaking?

Update: Apparently Harawira has now been charged with “failing to remove a vehicle from a road”. “I’m embarrassed to say that its a very petty charge, probably the lowest charge I’ve ever faced in my life,” he says.

70 comments on “Harawira’s arrest ”

  1. Tiger Mountain 1

    As Billy Bragg sang years back on his ‘Talking to the Taxman about poetry’album “there’s more to a seat in parliament than sitting on your arse”.

    Mana, movement of the people, and Hone take the above prescription seriously and engage the young and battle it out in the communities and streets. Oh that more MPs did so. On TV1 he was said to have been charged with “not following a police direction” ie to move his vehicle.

  2. ianmac 2

    “I haven’t seen any mention of what, if anything, Harawira has been charged with, or what law he is accused of breaking?”
    Perhaps Hone will be charged with placing his rear window in the path of a police baton?
    Criminal damage to police property ie one baton.
    Sitting in a car while listening to the wrong music?
    Irritating the Prime Minister with talk of helping the poor?

    • tc 2.1

      In possession of a conscience with intent to perform acts inconsistent with an issue of ‘national’ significance.

    • bbfloyd 2.2

      to be fair to the police, it may have been tiki tane he was listening to…. That would have had them breaking down any barrier to shut it down before the seditious lyrics infected any “vulnerable youth” nearby..

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Holy fuck the police state damaging private property and arresting a democratically elected member of parliament.

    For doing what? If Hone’s narrative is correct, there is going to be hell to pay.

    • tc 3.1

      Nope Crushers probably already lining up a friendly inquiry for ayatolley to front.

    • infused 3.2

      So a democratically elected member of parliament is above the law?

      [lprent: Curiously I haven’t actually seen any reporting on what the arrest was for and what charge was being laid – have you?

      Updated: I see that point was made in the post as well. ]

  4. Stan 4

    Hell to pay ? in your mind

    • bbfloyd 4.1

      Keep chanting that slogan young ogden…. Johnny sparkles needs as many new ideas as he can get now… His stock of pat answers have gone past their use by date….

  5. tc 5

    The whole GI re-work is classic developer friendly dealings, hard on the heels of Blinky screwing them over in his last term as mayor of Remuera.

    Where are the new dwellings ? Are they available now, ground level decent quality for the sick and elderly ? They don’t build them like they used to being the older styled and built state houses.

  6. Good on Ya Hone and Friends.
    There’s no way it’s Tresspass if you were invited.
    Those people still paid rent, which is a form of ownership, engineered situations aside,
    The Gnats’ can’t tell them who to invite onto their property.

  7. davidw 7

    If anyone here believes Hone’s (or Minto’s) version of what happened they are beyond naiive or deliberately feigning stupidity.

    • Jim Nald 7.1

      To compare and contrast, ……. if anyone here believes Hone Key’ (or Hone Banks’) version of what happened they are beyond naive or deliberately feigning stupidity.

    • BJ 7.2

      Mate, I was there, and it’s pretty close to the truth. What’s not mentioned in all of these articles is the actions of the police after Hone’s arrest; and the actions they’ve taken every other thursday night for the last six months. I’m bruised and battered this morning from the big guys in the team policing unit pushing and shoving, as well as literally trying to break fingers and choke people. A 20 year old girl was pushed to the ground, knocked unconscious, and taken to the hospital last night. Shit like this isn’t ok, but until Hone’s arrest there’d been no mainstream news coverage, and even now all they seem interested in is him. The ladies of Glen Innes, and the students and workers who come out there every week to support them and stop more of their houses getting stolen, deserve more than police brutality.

      • davidw 7.2.1

        “……. their houses getting stolen …..” Excuse me? Whose houses?

        • Colonial Viper 7.2.1.1

          Rich pricks, it would seem under National.

        • BJ 7.2.1.2

          The houses are owned by all of us, but they’re the homes of those that have been living in them for years and years. And this government is kicking those tenants out from their homes to create high density apartments a little while away and million dollar houses on the land where the houses stood. Nice job completely avoiding everything else in the post as well.

    • Dr Terry 7.3

      Well, davidw, they might even be crass liars like Key, would not that be worse?

  8. tracey 8

    hone was being obstructive with his car and deliberstly ignoring police… according to the police…

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      At which point police negotiating skills started to shine. I bet some officer found it a pleasure to smash up Hone’s car to put him in his rightful place.

      • Jackal 8.1.1

        I’m still in two minds about whether Police targeted Hone knowing who he was or they simply thought; ‘There’s a Maori in a flash car, let’s get em boys,’ not knowing who he was.

        Either way it seems highly questionable in law as to whether they had a right to damage his private property for a misdemeanor.

  9. Hone’s car was parked in front of a ‘moveable object’ ie a truck.

  10. http://mana.net.nz/2012/10/on-the-the-people-of-glen-innes-harawira/

    “Hone will appear in Auckland District Court on Wednesday 17th October to face a charge of “Failing to remove a vehicle from a road”. ”

    I rang Auckland Area Commander of Police – Inspector Andrew Coster at approximately 11pm, and told him that 5 paddy wagons and about 6 Police cars were on their way and I was there as an ‘Independent Public Watchdog’ to make sure there was no untoward behaviour by Police and if there was I would be seeking a meeting with himself and Auckland District Commander of Police – Superintendent Michael Clements.

    When the Police surrounded the truck with the house upon it – I told them over the megaphone at approximately 11.20pm, that I had just rung Auckland Area Commander of Police – Inspector Andrew Coster and passed on the message I had just given him.

    I personally witnessed Hone Harawira being forcibly removed from his car Thursday 11 October 2012.at approximately 12pm.

    The Tamaki Housing Group and supporters are PEACEFUL PROTESTORS and should be treated as such by Police.

    Police protocols for policing demonstrations are supposed to be based upon the following principles:

    (1) During demonstrations Police must balance the need to maintain order against the rights of citizens.

    Among those rights are:

    • Freedom of speech;
    • Peaceful demonstration
    • Security of life and property; and
    • Freedom from intimidation or interference

    (2) In policing demonstrations, members of the Police should:

    • Maintain teamwork and discipline;
    • Exercise tact, tolerance and restraint;
    • Remain impartial;
    • Use their powers reasonably and properly.

    The BIG issue here – is upon whose LAWFUL instructions are the Police acting?

    Upon what LAWFUL basis are these state houses from Glen Innes being removed?

    Why are the Police effectively supporting ‘democracy for developers’?

    The other issue is – note the difference between the Police action against Hone Harawira – who was making a stand to help protect the Glen Innes community and the lack of Police action against John Banks (alleged electoral fraud + signing Huljich Kiwisaver Scheme registered prospectuses dated 22 August 2008 and 18 September 2009 which contained untrue statements – a strict liability offence under s.58(3) of the Securities Act 1977)

    (I was involved in making formal complaints to Police on both those matters).

    http://www.pennybright4epsom.org.nz
    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

    Cheers!

    Penny Bright

    • Tiger Mountain 10.1

      Well put Penny, I remember you from ’81 tour/WCL days, exactly right. Complain to the coppers about unfair treatment at work, harrassment etc and they say “tell someone who cares”, try and exercise your democratic rights or take on the state or picket an employer and they leap on you with a growl.

  11. higherstandard 11

    Obviously the dick was upset that other dicks were in the news more than him therefore he proceeded to make an exceptionally large dick of himself.

  12. Good stuff ev and well done on reaching that milestone – jeepers you work hard.

  13. granted 14

    Just curious about Penny Brights comments. Megaphone at 11.30PM??? Is the same Penny Bright who was arrested in the city “sit in” at the start of the year?

    The arrest looks like bullshit but then I guess its all about putting yourself in a situation where that might occur. Surely Hone achieves more by being arrested to get more exposure?

    Looks like he sucked the police into his stunt.

    [lprent: As far as I am concerned there is only one Penny Bright. And yes I seem to remember quite a lot of commentary about courts when the Aotea Square was deoccupied.

    BTW: could you please stick to a single spelling of your e-mail address (or let the cookies do it for you). Moderators have to manually release new ones and eventually we will get tired of it and just ban for being a nuisance and causing the moderators too much work. ]

  14. Jenny 15

    The state housing demolition and removal in Glen Innes has been explained as a better use of resources.

    We have been told that as the price of land in Glen Innes and other inner city suburbs goes up it is better to rationalise these assets and use the money for more state houses in other cheaper suburbs.

    But is this is what is happening?

    The language here is interesting.

    The Glen Innes project aimed to redevelop 156 properties to create at least 260 new houses. Of those 78 would be owned by HNZ, at least 39 would be market-based affordable houses, and the remainder would be for private sale. Another 40 state houses were being modernised in Glen Innes, with exterior upgrades to another 276 state rental houses.

    Fairfax NZ news

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7806709/State-house-redevelopment-protests-criticised

    We need a translation.

    156 state properties will be “redeveloped”

    Housing New Zealand say this will allow them to “create” 260 new houses, (at least).

    Of that 192 will be sold off to the private sector.

    Leaving just 78 state houses.

    From that 78 minus 39 “market-based affordable houses” (whatever that means). Affordable for whom? Millionaires? Sole Parents? Factory hands?

    Leaving just 39 (non market rent state homes).

    So I56 state homes rentals set at 25% of income. Will changed into 39. This represents a massive decline in State House rentals.

    Despite the growing crisis of homeless no mention is made of any building state of houses in any other part of the country.

    Does this explain why the Minister of Housing has deliberately been evasive on the question of new state housing. Refusing to answer the question of where, or when, these promised new state houses are being built?

    Continuing with the translation; 40 other state houses in Glen Innes will be “modernised”.

    With “external upgrades for another 276 state rentals.” (in regular English, painting and maintenance.)

    The question begs. Whatever happened to Housing NZ’s budget for for external maintenance and painting that previously came out of their rental income?

    Is this why the Minister of Housing is so secretive and evasive in the House.

    Maybe the portfolio he heads needs to be retitled, the Minister of Anti-Housing. The Minister of Declining Housing. The Minister of Housing-less. The Minister of Homelessness.

    Those who created state housing would be appalled.

    Hone Harawira channels the spirit of those who created state housing.

    I imagine these ghosts of the first Labour Party cabinet, led by Michael J. Savage, standing waiting in the dark while Mana leader Hone Harawira is arrested. Forever on their shoulders the furniture meant for state houses that disappeared into the night with a police escort.

  15. Jenny 16

    An MP is arrested, a young women is knocked unconscious and dozens of South Auckland families are kept in homelessness, in a Shabby and shameful night time operation.

    Meanwhile Housing New Zealand repeats the government’s spin deliberately fostering the false impression that these demolitions and house removals will result in more state houses.

    Housing NZ yesterday hit out at protesters, saying its tenants were feeling pressured to take part in protest action.

    “Since the project was announced, we have been receiving regular calls from affected tenants to say they are feeling pressured to participate in protest action, which has been largely organised and run by people who are not impacted by the redevelopment,” the general manager of asset development, Sean Bignell, said.

    “They are deliberately providing misinformation to families, which is causing unnecessary stress.”

    Mr Bignell said the project would make Glen Innes a safer and better area to live in. It would create more homes as well as warmer and drier state homes.

    Fairfax News NZ

    To continue the translation into plain English;

    ….the project will make Glen Innes a safer place for the better off to live in. Yes it will create more homes. But they will be unaffordable for the low paid.

    The spin continues;

    Housing NZ had been keeping in regular contact with affected families, 70 of whom had chosen to transfer to other state homes early.

    All 70 families had transferred to homes in locations of their choice.

    Sean Bignell

    Despite Bignell’s spin, no new state houses are being created, in fact the opposite. State rental stock is being decimated.

    For many months South Auckland residents have complained of state houses standing empty while families are living in cars or relatives lounges.

    Despite long waiting lists for state houses from families, many in desperate need, state tenants evicted from Glen Innes are being put to the head of the queue and are being immediately housed in South Auckland pushing homeless families further down the list.

    My question is this;

    Despite the crying out need. Are the state houses, that South Auckland housing activists have accused Housing New Zealand of keeping empty in Papakura and Manurewa being deliberately kept aside for further rounds of evictions from Glenn Innes?

  16. Jenny 17

    The king of misinformation, accuses housing activists of misinformation.

    “Since the project was announced, we have been receiving regular calls from affected tenants to say they are feeling pressured to participate in protest action, which has been largely organised and run by people who are not impacted by the redevelopment,” the general manager of asset development, Sean Bignell, said.

    “They are deliberately providing misinformation to families, which is causing unnecessary stress.”

    Sean Bignell General Manager of Asset development, Housing New Zealand

    Mr Bignell has also made an unsubstantiated but serious accusation, that protesters are pressuring state tenants to participate in protest action.

    Where is his proof?

    Has he raised this matter with the police?

    Sitting on his huge salary,we can guess at what motivates Sean Bignell.

    But, what motivates the unnamed conspirators that Bignell has accused of engaging in a conspiracy against Housing New Zealand the government and state tenants?

    According to Bignell by their alleged actions these shadowy conspirators do not have the welfare of the state tenants and homeless at heart.

    Are they the mythical “professional demonstrators”?

    Are they being paid to be beaten and arrested?

    What on earth motivates them?

  17. Murray Olsen 18

    Hone Harawira is a hero and a fighter at a time when such people are short on the ground. His name will be remembered long after that of the thuggish cop who smashed his car window, if anyone even knows that name now. We need tens of thousands of Hones and we’ll make some real progress. One scares the Tories enough – imagine what 10,000 would do.

  18. granted 19

    Surely this was all a stunt to bring some press coverage? Was Penny observing local bylaws when she was using a megaphone at 11.30PM?

    • Murray Olsen 19.1

      Why don’t you go along with a copy of the bylaws and a decibel meter next time, if you’re so worried? I suspect the residents would much rather hear Penny’s megaphone fighting for them than the noise of the heavy moving equipment anyway, and aren’t bylaws there to protect residents?

  19. xtasy 20

    What happened to Hone does not surprise me one bit.

    Apart from the more gutsy and principled protesters and residents affected, where was the rest of the neighbourhood to stop these atrocities by those supposed to enforce the law (which happens to include the NZ Bill of Rights Act)?

    NZ is a DICTATORSHIP of sorts. I hate to repeat myself, but that is the reality.

    That bit of “freedom” that is allowed is only “tolerated”, as long as it does not interfere with the agenda of the lobby and interest groups that run and control this country and society.

    It is all about money, economic agendas, ideology and keeping dissenters suppressed. Make no doubt, if the largely ill-informed, distracted, manipulated masses of the population do not wake up soon and take a clear stand, there will not even be any protests allowed at all anymore.

    Remember: During the ‘Day of Action’ on 05 Oct. 12, in Henderson, West Auckland, the police filmed everything and everyone, from even before the activities began, to the very end.

    Perhaps someone will try to try a Privacy Act request, demanding a copy of the video film, as it contains a record of private persons who attended, even though most was in a “public place”.

    They should have to prove they were filming and surveilling, as they had reasonable grounds to suspect criminal offences or the likes to take place. That though would be a ridiculous excuse.

    I never saw anything like this anywhere in Europe, certainly not at such a tiny, peaceful assembly. Maybe in Stasi controlled East Germany, or in Mainland China such things were or are common?

    Hone is one of the few taking a stand. Good on him!

  20. Jenny 21

    Apart from the more gutsy and principled protesters and residents affected, where was the rest of the neighbourhood to stop these atrocities…..

    xtasy

    Housing New Zealand have been using a carrot and stick approach.

    Those directly affected by the demolitions and removals have been offered guaranteed transfer to housing in other areas. If they refuse to voluntarily accept this offer of transfer, then they are told that they will be evicted by force and will not be rehoused by Housing New Zealand.

    As well as this tenants are being deliberately lied to by their Housing NZ case managers that their eviction and transfer will be for the greater good of all state tenants because more houses will be built with the money raised from the sale of their properties. (In contrast to what they are being told in private. Publicly there has been no promise made to state tenants of more state houses being built, either by Housing New Zealand, or the Government. In fact the Minister for housing has deliberately dodged and weaved around the issue, refusing to be drawn on whether or not more state homes will be built.

    The application of this policy of carrot and stick has allowed Sean Bignell to publicy and loudly claim that all those state tenants affected, have all agreed with the removals and transfers.

    Bignell’s statement on behalf of the state tenants who have ‘voluntarily’ agreed to transfer out of Glen Innes to state homes in other areas doesn’t speak for those with out any voice. – The homeless families on waiting lists for a state home pushed further down the list by the transfers from GI who are powerlessly affected by the state house demolitions and removals and the resulting gentrification of Glen Innes without any replacement of similar low rent state housing stock anywhere else.

    • xtasy 21.1

      “The homeless families on waiting lists for a state home pushed further down the list by the transfers from GI who are powerlessly affected by the state house demolitions and removals and the resulting gentrification of Glen Innes without any replacement of similar low rent state housing stock anywhere else.”

      Yes, I totally agree and know a fair bit about this, although I admit not being involved and informed about what goes on in detail at GI. I live in a very different area and would have trouble getting there.

      I was on the HNZ waiting list before myself, like thousands others, when qualifying. Maybe there is still a “dead” file kept? Anyway, I helped a mate of mine late last year and going into this year, to find alternative housing, after a developer threw him out of the flat he’d been in 9 years (who bought a block, did them up superficially and hocked them off for a nice gain one by one).

      The amount of lies we got from Housing NZ staff were unbelievable. They fobbed him off (suffering serious health issues, having no savings and dependent on a benefit for years) again and again. We went to the Regional Offices and surprised them there, challenging them. The regional manager hid from us. Staff were facing redundancies and 10 per cent losing their jobs. The rest were struggling, clinging and fighting with each other to keep their jobs, some being at each other’s throats.

      He was only offered places that were totally unsuitable. We learned they no longer renovate flats or homes before letting them, only ensuring basic safety and health standards are fulfilled. He was shown a home with holes in some walls, plaster traces elsewhere, rather derelict, but they said it was suitable, just to get him off their books (due to us phoning and calling them every day).

      In the end they offered him a place, only to get rid of his persistent reminders, after the NZ Herald got involved and started asking them questions. Suddenly, within a week or two, he was offered a place and got a place.

      Heatley is a liar, leading a bunch of lying managers (the one here in Auckland is one of the worst), and the staff all fear for their jobs and are little motivated.

      I presume, another cost-saving, “successful” exercise of “reforming” the public service and selling off all that is not nailed to the ground (or also attached to anchorage going a mile down into the ground).

      Sadly the shit media, and my hatred grows day by day about NZ msm crap servants, does not bother to report much of it. Only when a Hone Harawira gets arrested, do they pay some attention. Let along other pollies bother to care, some of whom should better pay a damned visit. Annette King is a total hypocrite too, by the way. I know that Labour has different plans, but probably not all that much different to what Heatley and the Nats are doing!

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