Judge Orders Out Occupy Auckland


At last! A judge this morning ordered the Occupy Auckland protestors to cease residing in Aotea Square.

He’s told the Tent People to remove all of the paraphernalia associated with the protest campsite within 48 hours. The protestors have been camping in the square since October 15 and originally said they would stay until the election.

Occupy Auckland says it plans to “appeal this judgement & defend our privileges under the Bill of Rights, for the benefit of all in Aotearoa.

“We would like to express our appreciation to all our supporters and to ask them for any urgent assistance and/or actions in solidarity that they are able to undertake. Please either come to the occupation with any ideas/resources that you have available to you and undertake urgent outreach to supporter networks to let everyone, worldwide, know of this gross injustice that is being perpetuated against us by the Court. “

Occupy Auckland has also started an online petition
and is asking for food donations.

Auckland Council says in a statement that it welcomes the court’s decision to grant its application for a permanent injunction to end the occupation of Aotea Square.

On November 28 Occupy Auckland was issued a trespass notice from Auckland Council CEO Douglas McKay requiring members of Occupy Auckland to forthwith leave and stay away from Aotea Square. Today they were reported as planning Christmas dinner there.

The protestors, including veteran protestors like John Minto and Penny Bright went to court and Judge David Wilson was asked to rule whether Auckland Council can enforce a trespass order and move Occupy protesters out of Aotea Square.

He has done so.

OCCUPY AUCKLAND:" Was it really about the financial crisis?

When I visited there last week one of them told me more than half the occupants were just homeless people who had moved in from the streets. And theoccupiers were approaching people in the square wanting them to buy a sausage for $2 each – one could say quite a ripoff from people who claim to be questioning capitalism.

This protest has gone on far too long. It has never been focused on the aims of the original US tent people and the grass is so damaged, it’s going to cost ratepayers estimated 6-figure sums to repair.

OCCUPY AUCKLAND: The group meeting

They achieved nothing.
The problem is: will they try this on again?




  1. JX says:

    About Time!

  2. Jeremy says:

    My instincts told me that the homeless were just attaching along.

  3. Matt says:

    I’m assuming this was heard in District Court? I imagine there’ll be an appeal on NZBORA grounds.

    ETA: My assumptions are correct. Saying which court it was heard in is really important when announcing these things, because it has a huge bearing on the likelihood of an appeal.
    I think this one will end up at the Supreme Court, and rightly so because it’s a very fundamental legal question.

  4. Owen Thompson says:

    Get rid of the squatters. Hope WINZ is harassing them as they clearly are not actively seeking work.

    Why should the hopeless have more rights than ratepayers? It is against council bylaws to camp in a park, yet we sit and wait.

  5. Jeremy says:

    I’m no lawyer but highly doubt an appeal will succeed. Freedom of speech is not being hindered, plus I feel a judge would say their message is not coherent. Is a precedent being created? No I say. The only thing the campers’ can say is they are not insighting the public to riot or whatnot and are not using objectional language.

  6. Ingolfson says:

    “Hope WINZ is harassing them as they clearly are not actively seeking work.”

    And how do you know they are receiving any WINZ assistance?

    “Why should the hopeless have more rights than ratepayers?”

    Freudian slip, Owen?

    I understand that such protests will eventually have to go / be moved off. But the agressive tone here surprises me.

  7. Matt says:

    Jeremy, there’s also freedom of movement and freedom of assembly. The entire situation is a constitutional legal nightmare, because there’s no clarity on whether the bylaw or NZBORA takes precedence. If the no-camping law was an Act of Parliament the precedence would be clear, because NZBORA is subordinate to all other statutes, but the bylaw is not a statute so it’s murky.

    As I said, I think this will end up with the Supreme Court.

    And ingolfson, I agree with you. This forum’s tenor on this issue dismays me.

  8. signalhead says:

    I agree with Ingolfson, it would be nice if I could spend months protesting the issues that concern me but i only get 4 weeks annual leave a year.
    Another issue is the opportunists who jump on the band wagon, Israeli friends of mine were gutted when someone in the squatter camp was holding up a “Bloody Israel” sign, real nice.
    What has that got to do with corporate greed and for that matter that “Cannabis is a medicine” sign?
    It is about time the silent majority stops pandering to the vocal minority.

  9. Stranded on the North Shore says:

    It’s pretty simple to me. They’re the 1% (or rather less) of the population that is occupying Aotea Square. It’s about time that the other 99% - the rest of us starts a new protest - LIBERATE AOTEA SQUARE. The tone of this forum is not negative. We just had enough. Go away, leave the square for everyone.

  10. tbird says:

    “I’m no lawyer but highly doubt an appeal will succeed.”

    I’m no lawyer either, but as you might know many NZ judges are sappy, ex-hippie pinkos who feel their job is to help criminals make excuses for their actions rather than to protect society. Many judges also have very little idea about the real world, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they’d side with the Occupy scumbags.

    I had another look at Aotea Square last weekend. The place actually smells of faeces. Not sweat, not the stale urine smell that wafts after the homeless, it smells of faeces.

    I still don’t see why the ratepayer should pay for this. Surely the arrogant and selfish bastards who destroyed the turf should be made to foot the bill. If I smash a shop window with a rock, I don’t expect the owners to pay for it. Invoice Minto and his professional protesting mates. People in this country should finally be made accountable for their actions. (I hope they’re paying their own legal bills too!)

    The other irony is those elitist hipster POLS students balking when the poor and homeless NZers they profess to be standing for actually start to camp there, it’s as if they’ve never seen a real “poor person”. (Either that or Uni exams are now over and they in Europe on holiday with dad’s money.)

    Oh well, most of these students will eventually grow up. I’m sure we all can remember that stage at Uni when we thought we were smart - of course most of us didn’t go around calling everyone else “ignorant” and “uneducated”.

  11. Ian says:

    Entertaining reading the right wing rants over this minor inconvenience to a few downtowners. The same sort of conservative people who spewed bile over Bastion Point and the Springbok tour protests but who now sensibly STFU,at least over those issues Even our waste of space PM can’t remember if he opposed the tour or not. Too bad this country doesn’t have a few more Mintos and a few less tbirds et al.

  12. Jon C says:

    @Ian Don’t be ridiculous. Springbok & Bastion were about genuine issues that needed correcting and in the end protest was the only way to force change.

    Go and talk to the tent people and you’re struggle to find what they are on about. The ones I have spoken to can not hold any intelligent conversation about the Euro financial crisis. To be frank some have no idea what I was talking about. They seemed out of it.

    Over half acknowledge they are just homeless taking advantage of the tents. Others are banging on about cannabis reform and Maori rights. Others are just anti anything.

    While the rest of us who pay rates will have to pay thousands to repair the damage on the brand new square -and also have rights to sit and play on the grass they occupy. That’s exactly the point the Judge made yesterday in his judgement.

  13. Jon C says:

    And in Wellington..
    Former demonstrators say the remaining Occupy Wellington protesters are mostly homeless “streeties” and “reformed crims”.
    Hardly genuine anti apartheid campaigners Ian.

  14. tbird says:

    “Too bad this country doesn’t have a few more Mintos and a few less tbirds et al.”

    We need more anti-Semitic pricks who’ll yell nasty abuse at 23 year old tennis players? (The High Court let him off on that too, yet Golliwog wrapping paper is forced off the shelf by our RRC.)

    I go to work every day. I have a useful job. I pay tax. I contribute to society. I’m non-violent. I pay for what I use. And I don’t commit crimes against others.

    What’s so wrong with that?

    Minto does nothing but complain about the society that supports him. He’s a self-entitled professional hate-monger.

  15. Chris says:

    I am a lawyer and think the decision is 100% correct and any appeal is bound to fail, notwithstanding the odd activist judge on the Court of Appeal or Supreme Court.

    The issue is not about freedom to protest or assemble under the NZBOR - nobody is saying the protesters can get together and protest in a public place.

    The issue is whether they can camp on public property, cause damage to public property, and exclude others from public property. The NZBOR is not absolute and reasonable limitations on those rights, in accordance with legislation, are permitted - the law is clear on this.

    In this case, the ocupation is a breach of the district plan rules (under RMA), bylaws (authorised by statute), and the Reserves Act. None of these rules, bylaws or legislation prevent protest or assembly, just camping. So there is no breach of the NZBOR or at worst, the rules/bylaws etc are reasonable and justifiable limitations on the NZBOR as from a health and safety, sanitation, amenity, and public access perspective, camping should not be allowed in a town square.

    The hippies and losers should accept defeat and move on, before causing more damage and costing ratepayers and taxpayers yet more money through pointless court appeals.

  16. Owen Thompson says:

    Give the tents back to your mummies and daddies, dirty squatters. Assuming you know which “uncle” is your father.

    While you are returning stolen property, then give back Aotea Square to the owners, which are the ratepayers.

  17. Anthony says:

    I have heard that most of the original protestors have left because they are so pissed off by the
    drug-takers and crazed homeless people who are pretending to protest on issues when they are really taken advantage of the food, tents and the dope that some of them have with them.

    And since the weather has cleared, If they remain, conditions will only become disgusting if it isn’t already. Im all for protests, but this is just beyond pathetic.


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