Members of Taranaki Whānui have released a statement detesting the acts of anti-mandate protesters outside parliament. Reports and videos online show protestors emptying human waste into the stormwater drains and polluting the harbour. “This behaviour is both culturally offensive and a public health risk.”
Taranaki Whānui has called for a political solution to end the ongoing occupation outside of Parliament. Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust, which represents Taranaki Whānui, says that a law enforcement solution will not be enough.
Trust Chair Kara Puketapu-Dentice has asked political leaders to resolve the ongoing disruption and harm to local businesses and residents. “Our own people have been affected by the occupation, including threats against our kuia and kaumatua and vandalism of our offices and buildings in the city.”
Previously, Ngāti Toa released a joint statement with Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira Chair Callum Katene and Chief Executive Helmut Modlik urging protestors to leave. Both Ngāti Toa and Taranaki Whanui have stated they support the right for peaceful protest but noted that the behaviour from protestors had been “disgraceful and disrespectful.”
This comes after multiple reports of abuse, threats, and intimidation from protestors towards businesses and the public. Ngāti Toa marae and iwi members were also victims of protestor abuse.
Ngāti Toa also released a statement urging anti-vaccination protestors in November 2021 to stop using its Ka Mate haka. “We do not support their position and we do not want our tupuna or our iwi associated with their messages.” Ngāti Toa have been hands-on in protecting their whānau against Covid through use of Ora Toa Health Services who have provided vaccinations in the area.