August 09, 2019
Haumaha moves to scale down Ihumātao action
Deputy Police Commissioner Wally Haumaha says he has been talking with organisers of the Ihumātao protest about how the number of both police and protesters can be scaled back.
Mr Haumaha was back on site for the last two days after a change in protest tactics and a rapid escalation in police numbers led to a sharp increase in tension as well as criticism of the police response.
His concern is for the safety of all at the site, as well as ensuring lines of communication between police and protesters remain open.
There will be greater use of iwi liaison officers and Māori responsiveness managers on the site, plus other community staff.
He says organisers have given their word they won't go onto areas subject to a court-ordered eviction notice.
"Even the people themselves are looking at waiting for the resolution to come off the table and then probably thanking those who have turned up to support but at a point in time asking people to leave the area and go home and this will be an area that will be discussed by the local people and those who are currently around the table," Mr Haumaha says.
Walking around the village he has seen many familiar faces from over the years, and he's trying to build up a sense of trust and confidence so people will do the right thing in a respectful way.
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