Dunne deaf to cries of asset sales protesters

Protest cries rang out across Johnsonville this morning as anti-asset sales groups marched through the streets.

People’s Power Ohariu, which was formed to oppose MP Peter Dunne’s vote in favour of the sales, joined forces with the hikoi that has been marching throughout the North Island.

The hikoi is protesting against a range of issues, including deep sea oil drilling and the selling of Crafar farms.

The protesters, holding placards proclaiming ‘Aotearoa is not for sale’, met in the car park of Johnsonville Mall.

They marched down the main road, before ending up outside Peter Dunne’s office.

The focus on the Ohariu MP is the result of his parliamentary vote in favour of the sales, which protesters claimed he did not have the mandate to do.

If Mr Dunne were to change his vote, the sales could not go ahead.

The protesters who delivered impassioned speeches outside Mr Dunne’s office made their feelings towards his actions clear.

“If you really love this land, if you really care about people in this land, then I appeal to your intelligence and your conscience. I think you should really say no,” said Frances Kuo of People’s Power Ohariu, to shouts of agreement from other protesters.

However, Mr Dunne has repeatedly refused to discuss the sales with those opposing them.

In an email to Richard Goldsbrough, the Ohariu Citizens Select Committee spokesperson, Mr Dunne made it clear that it was unnecessary to discuss the matter in person.

“As our respective positions on this issue are well-known, and not going to change, I see little value or point in a meeting, and therefore decline your request,” the email reads.

The protesters plan to meet again for a march from Te Papa to Parliament at 12pm today.

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