April 15, 2020
Protest group in flap over tent removal
The Honour the Maunga protest group is crying foul at the Tupuna Maunga Authority’s decision to remove its tent encampment from the entrance to Ōwairaka-Mount Albert.
The authority says it received reports of people gathering at the encampment and erecting new protest signs in breach of COVID-19 alert level 4 lockdown rules.
It says the removal was a necessary action to protect the health and safety of maunga visitors, staff and contractors.
But Honour the Maunga spokesperson Anna Radford says it stood down its occupation but left its marquee and tents in place in readiness for the lockdown being lifted.
A post on the group’s Facebook page from the start of the lockdown says it would maintain a presence on the mountain by volunteers doing their shifts either parked near to the base in their cars or by walking or exercising nearby.
A court challenge to the Tupuna Maunga Authority’s plans to remove 345 trees from the maunga in preparation for replanting with native species has been delayed because of the COVID-19 restrictions.
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