Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A day almost forgotten

Yesterday, 30 years ago, was one of the most shameful days in NZ recent history, in my living memory.

Almost as sad is the fact that, other than a 4 minute commemorative on Radio NZ, and a full "Bastion Point Day" on Maori TV, the day passed almost totally unremarked.

The Herald included this article, an interview with Alec, one of the "radicals" from the Hawke family.
It is 30 years since the bulldozers and army trucks loaded with police arrived at Bastion Pt to clear away the tent and plywood town of protest that had become a symbol for hope, or a blight on society, depending on your perspective.

Looking back, my first thought is what an honour it was to be a part of the occupation. What an honour being a member of a larger group, that initially was just whanau in Ngati Whatua o Orakei, and was then joined by supporters - Maori, Pacific Islanders and Pakeha - who came to right a wrong.

As my brother Joe says, we were not there to be arrested, we were there to arrest a wrong, and we did that.

There are news images from the papers of the time, such as here. I will not pirate them - they have almost reached the status of taonga. I respect that.

Take a look at what is one of the turning points in NZ history. Read ALL of the interview with Alec Hawke.

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