Individuals and groups stood in solidarity with the Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL) Campaign outside Fletcher offices in Wellington, Auckland, Dunedin, and Hamilton on Friday 15 February to stop an unwanted housing development on 33 hectares of rare landscape at Ihumātao, near Auckland International Airport.
This land is part of a rare cultural heritage landscape and is adjacent to the Otuataua Stonefields Historic Reserve. It was unjustly confiscated in 1863 and given to settlers who farmed it until their descendants sold it for around $20m to Fletcher Building Limited in
2016. Fletcher wants to build 480 houses.
SOUL are currently occupying land at Ihumātao to halt Fletchers plans to start construction. SOUL have called for collective action and support in an effort to stop a confrontation on the land. ‘We invite anyone who wants to stand against colonisation and racism to join us at Fletchers on Friday the 15th. If you can’t make it to a protest, we invite you to call or email Fletchers and let them know how you feel.’’
Here in Wellington we heard the call to action and started a new group SOUL Solidarity Pōneke. We stand in solidarity with mana whenua in Tāmaki Makaurau who are standing up against development on their illegally confiscated ancestral lands.
On the 15th of February we took action targeting Fletcher’s Construction who bought the land at Ihumātao and are planning to start construction soon. As Fletcher’s seem to be having trouble knowing what being a good treaty partner looks like, we held them a FREE Tiriti o Waitangi workshop at their premises in Churton Park! Together, we learnt more about Te Tiriti, sung waiata and shared kai.
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