(A few people) power and Ohariu

A group of people, some from the Ohariu electorate, have been campaigning against asset sales. Amongst other things they’ve been trying to pressure Peter Dunne to reverse his election commitments on mixed ownership.

They’ve been doing various things to attract attention. There latest effort may offend many people:

Protesters scale war memorial to erect banner

Early this morning a small group of protesters scaled scaffolding on Wellington’s National War Memorial carillon to hang a massive “No Asset Sales” banner.

The protesters are part of a coalition of Wellington groups opposing the Government’s plan to sell up to 49% of four state-owned energy companies and further reduce its shareholding in Air New Zealand.

Spokesman Richard McIntosh said the coalition was made up of People Power Ohariu, the Mana Party, the Ohariu Citizens Select Committee and others.

Is this a major protest movement? Not according to Dunne, who posted on Facebook yesterday:

The so-called Ohariu people’s select committee on state asset share floats is a joke.

First they said I had gone against my pre-election policy on share floats – now they concede I have not, but say they did not realise what UnitedFuture’s policy was.

  • Then they said they had 700 submissions from local people opposing my stance;
  • then it was 600;
  • now they say that at least all the self-appointed committee members of grumpy old unionsts are Ohariu voters
  • and that just 269 of the submissions are from local people.
  • Their first protest at Parliament attracted 9 people;
  • their last protest at my electorate office on a day when it was closed had just 5 people attend.

There are a lot of people not particularly happy about Nationals Mixed Ownership asset sales proposals, and quite a few are protesting and expressing their opinions. That’s fair enough in a democracy.

But desecrating a War Memorial is a step too far. I find this very offensive.

Amongst other things by association a few misguided zealots will discredit legitimate protest of many.

So much offence by so few to so many.

People Power Ohariu:

Scoop: Hikoi to join Ohariu residents in protest at Peter Dunne’s Johnsonville office

Kiwiblog: People Power Ohariu

The Standard: Citizens’ select committee taking submissions

Keeping Stock: People Power or Sneaky Power