200 Arrests – 40 Years On

An anniversary day for what
should never have happened.
Forty years ago 500 police
surrounded 200 protesters
after 500 days occupying their
own land in tents, in makeshift huts.

Television news showed this thick
blue line surrounding 200 Maori
indigenous New Zealanders young
middle aged elderly then dragging
then away to a line of waiting buses.

Their crime was to own land claimed
by the government, land on the point
with harbour views, craved by
developers for millionaire homes
for billionaire sales. They convinced
the Prime Minister it should be sold
in return for their election support.

Forty years later at the indigenous
meeting house a commemorative
breakfast was held, attended
by Maori, by non Maori, and
by members of the police for
Maori had kept their land.

A retired policeman remembered
it all as a new young recruit.
To this day he remembers 200
protesters sitting together singing
with guitars playing as
500 police arrested them.

It should never have happened, he said.

200 Arrests – 40 Years On