National | Protest

Tensions high at Wainuiomata Marae as hau kāinga defend pā from protestors

Wainuiomata locals turned up to their marae today following a call from marae leadership to help prevent protestors from setting up camp.

This morning a scuffle ensued between hau kāinga and a protestor who was attempting to gain access to marae grounds by car. The man was later escorted away by police.

General manager Teresea Olsen says she was surprised the man  made the attempt to storm the marae - whilst acknowledging whānau effort to protect the pā, she maintains that they will do so in peace.

"I thought he was really brave to think that he could come here and do that outside our marae. It goes to show how passionately they believe in what they believe," she said.

Wainuiomata Marae is also a vaccination centre. Olsen says they've been abused by anti-vax protestors in the past and they're not welcome at the marae.

"We've been called murderers time and time again by the protestors. They've spat at us they've broken in to the marae, they've done all of those things. We've had enough," she said.

One local told Te Ao Tapatahi he was angered and the whānau remained on high alert as they were told there were more protestors on the way.

"We're trying to protect the marae. Protect the mana of our whenua, our people. They just want to do dumb stuff. I'm riri."

More to come...