The occupation begins – in virtual space

Your SOUL campaign update.
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The occupation begins

In this edition: The virtual occupation of Ihumātao has begun, plus an overnight stay on the land is planned in commemoration of Parihaka Day, 5 November. A new archeological discovery on SHA 62 land calls into question Fletchers’ archeological report on the area. And, we invite you to join our upcoming events and check out what’s been happening in October.

Join the occupation!

The virtual occupation of Ihumātao is gaining momentum with over 500 people signing up on the day the website was launched.

Please add your voice to those calling for the protection of Ihumātao and share this link as widely as you can:

The virtual occupation website shows land markers for each person who has added their name and gives the background information to the campaign to #ProtectIHUMĀTAO from development.
You are now able to take your support a step further via the website with links to donate to the campaign and to easily contact newly-elected
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff and Housing Minister Nick Smith.

Will there be a physical occupation? Is Ihumātao the next Bastion Point?

“None of us wants a stand-off. A physical occupation is not an ideal way to solve a land issue, but it has been a means in NZ’s history to gain traction in unjust situations. Instead, SOUL wants to work with Fletcher and the government to explore a range of options and knit together an innovative proposal that all parties can support.” SOUL Spokesperson Brendan Corbett

“In the past I have always felt stumped when asked constantly whether there is going to be a physical occupation at Ihumātao and when it will occur. From today on I can say it has now started with the virtual occupation. Let’s see where that will lead us." SOUL Spokesperson Pania Newton

Weekly protest at Fletcher Building head office

Why should Fletchers face the prospect of occupation when they could just pull out before the land is purchased? Every Friday we hold a picket at Fletcher Building head office to urge them to pull out of the deal to purchase the proposed development land, while they are still on a conditional contract. Let’s convince them to do a great service to Auckland, Waikato Tainui and New Zealand and protect our significant sites, by either pulling out of the deal or putting it into a public reserve.

Remembering Parihaka at Ihumātao
Saturday 5 November, from 6 pm

SOUL invites you to an overnight park-up for Parihaka at the Ōtuataua Stonefields, on the anniversary of the invasion of the peaceful hub of Māori resistance to land confiscations.

This will be a whānau friendly kaupapa: no alcohol, no fireworks & no eating on the Stonefields.
@ Entrance to Ōtuataua Stonefields Historic Reserve, Oruarangi Road, Ihumātao
Free night events, such as guided star hīkoi, craft workshops, film projections & cooking marshmallows. Come for the evening or all night if you are able.

Ancient Lifeways of Tāmaki, Tuesday 8 November, 6 – 8 pm @ Māngere Arts Centre – Ngā Tohu o Uenuku Corner Bader Drive and Orly Avenue, Māngere Town Centre. Facebook event

This event is a rare opportunity for an in-depth exploration of the historical significance of the Māngere area and Ihumātao in particular.

Māngere was one of the first areas settled by Pacific voyagers; in time it became, what has been described as, a Māori “proto-city” and was subsequently situated at the heart of the European settlement of Auckland. Presentations will be by archaeologist and historian, Ian Lawlor and public historian and PhD candidate, Lucy Mackintosh.

Challenge accepted: Fletcher Building chair takes up SOUL invitation

A positive outcome was achieved at Fletcher Building’s recent annual shareholder meeting. Nikki Elder, shareholder and SOUL member challenged Chairman of the Board Sir Ralph Norris to visit Ōtuataua Stonefields to meet the community and SOUL. He has accepted the invitation along with CEO Mark Adamson. The meeting will take place in early December.

New discovery challenges Fletchers’ archaeological report

A new archaeological discovery at Ihumātao (SHA 62) challenges the conclusions of a Fletcher archaeological report presented to Council in February 2016 which found that a farmhouse built in 1906 was the only feature worth preserving.

However, a newly discovered shell midden (old refuse area) in the middle of the SHA 62 area challenges this idea. Archaeologist Dave Veart comments that middens are the “tip of an iceberg.” They show people have been there. "They are time capsules that give us important glimpses of the past, so they are very important rubbish!”

The Fletcher report had come to the conclusion that “building by the developer would discover and disturb very little of archaeological value on the SHA 62 site” and that “It is expected not a great number of sites will be discovered during the earthworks phase.”

SOUL rejects Fletcher’s narrow view of this precious whenua. What other archaeological treasures may there be? And, is bulldozing the best way to unearth them?

The matter is being considered by Heritage New Zealand, the body responsible for authorising any work that may affect an archeological site.

A brilliant bike ride: Eke Pahikara Koanga

One sunny Saturday in the school holidays, around 30 of the crew from Triple teez / Mangere BikeFit took a ride with SOUL’s Brendan Corbett. The route was from Māngere Bridge out to the Stonefields via Ambury Farm, returning to Māngere via the new bike path beside the airport motorway.

Cycle club members came along with their parents and family members. None of the group had visited Ihumātao before and they were blown away by how beautiful the area was. Lunch was put on by Auckland Transport and enjoyed next to the Oruarangi Awa.

Mangere Bridge School asks, “How can we read the land so we can tell its stories?”
Each term Mangere Bridge School has major student enquiry project. This term the focus is on the science of Ōtuataua Stonefields including its ecological, geological and archeological significance and the question “How can we read the land so we can tell its stories?” Over three days, the entire student body visited Makaurau Marae and the Ōtuataua Stonefields Historic Reserve learning how to read the land in different ways with the expert guidance of an archeologist on day one, geologist on day two and ecologist on day three.

Ihumātao Heritage Hikoi
Despite typical Auckland spring weather over 60 people attended the Ihumātao Heritage Hikoi. It was a fantastic day highlighting the importance of this region in the history of settlement in this region from the days of earliest human settlement. A huge thank you for all your support

More national media coverage
The media coverage of our campaign has continued throughout the month, with the most significant coverage coming in the print and online editions of the October 9 Sunday Star Times.

Can you take a moment to help us grow our campaign?

Before you close out of this email, please take a moment to forward it to friends who are interested. Invite them to attend our upcoming events and to subscribe to this fortnightly newsletter.

New subscribers can follow this link to sign up:

Thanks for keeping yourself updated.

You are always welcome to contribute your time and energy to the SOUL campaign to protect Ihumātao. We run on people power and we need you!

Our open meetings are held in Māngere Bridge. The next meeting date is Wednesday 2 November 6:00 to 7:30 pm; willing workers are always welcome. Please reply by email if you need other meeting details.

Kia kaha! – SOUL

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