Mana Whenua and local leaders urge visitors to respect locals and their property

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Published: 4 March 2022

Iwi, Marae, and Wainuiomata community leaders have a simple message for protestors across the Wellington region – “show some respect and let us be!”

Collectively, we have a role to protect our people, our whenua, our Marae and our communities.

“Protestors have come to Wainuiomata and have been abusive and aggressive towards locals and while we understand their mamae (pain), this behaviour is unacceptable and must stop,” says Wainuiomata Marae Chair Star Olsen.

Mr Olsen says the community is united in this kaupapa to protect the Marae, Papakainga and local residents.

Taranaki Whānui Chair Kara Puketapu Dentice says it’s time for New Zealand to focus on healing the divisions from Covid.

“Abusive people aren’t welcome at our Marae, ancestral sites, reserves and Papakainga and we urge everyone to return home, so we can begin the process of healing.”

Lower Hutt Mayor Campbell Barry says this sort of behaviour has no place in our city and our region.

“The poor behaviour and disrespect shown to the Wainuiomata Marae and community is completely unacceptable. This is a Marae that was built by the local community. I’m proud to see our people standing strong to say this is not ok.  The protestors simply need to go home,” says Mayor Barry.

Community leaders are working with the Marae, community members, Police, Māori Wardens, Hutt City Council City Safety Team, and the local community patrol to maintain public health and safety.