Auckland Action Against Poverty Rock The NZ Equivalent Of The RNC #AAAP

and of course we were there to document it for you. 🙂

Following on from the intimidating police numbers demonstrated at yesterday’s #BTB #Showandtell action, the boys were out in force and so were the cameras.

MSM huddled under the storefronts behind police lines and the most active videographers were the police cameramen with their top of the line equipment.

In contrast, we used: 1 cellphone, to provide the below footage (a crappy hand-me-down at that lol). Unfortunately we had no livestream today as Redstar’s gorgeous son was present however I’m sure tons of vids will be on You Tube in short order. (Search Auckland Action Against Poverty or National Party Conference Protest)

As usual a livetweet of the protest was also broadcast on Twitter

We arrived at Federal Street to find a curious sight. Barricades, of the heavy plastic variety, anchored by sandbags. As you can tell from the pavement it was absolutely pissing down for the most part, the sidewalks slippery but it was fortunately not too windy or too cold.

The above terribly blurry photo that would usually hit the trash can immediately is of what appears to be the same police camera chick as yesterday except that today she was filming US…. the citizen journalists…. not just the protesters like yesterday. Perhaps her appearance in our last blog post made her want to reciprocate. Sorry police camera chick its nothing personal. But anyone who runs around with a camera should accept that they’re going to get filmed, as we do and are, regardless of whether they are in a uniform or if they are just random students and stay at home mums and self-employed people and other members of the public; like we are.

The student-provided Legal Observers from yesterday were back, which is a massive relief to those of us who know how important it is to have impartial legalese-savvy eye-witnesses on the ground at events like this. Kia ora to you guys thank you so much. But they weren’t the only ones who were back…

But we were also back. And we made a far more impressive sight. Check this out 🙂

As the march approached and passed us we were all cheering, catcalling and whistling. Excellent atmosphere welcoming staunch democratic protesters who came out in solidarity despite the miserable weather and intimidating show of police numbers.

We think this may be the first march we’ve seen where the numbers of police present dwarfed the number of protesters present. Not for lack of protesters either! Amazing to think that at last weekend’s Aotearoa Is Not For Sale march they managed to “control” 3000+ protesters with 12 police… yet required into the hundreds of police for a couple of hundred protesters? Apparently the difference is the presence of the Prime Minister. If you’re wondering why you had lack of attention to a household burglary this weekend, I wouldn’t be the first to point out that the blame probably lies at the overly-paranoid battalions of police that appear whenever a protest gets near a National Party event.

These guys were also back. The Sky Paths above the street are a favourite with the inside men behind the National Party Conference at Sky City, and their lackeys.

As you can see John Key was symbolically present at the protest, while simultaneously speaking inside the Convention Centre, no doubt making smarmy jokes about the people with legitimate grievances protesting outside, in his usual form. Time for some happy photos; of the gorgeous protesters and their signs. 🙂

Now for the priceless show piece. A cafe on Federal Street tried to take the piss out of protesters. Now it seems their sign got occupied!!

We have a few more great pics that we’ll add later but this is all we can do for now. Hope you guys enjoyed the coverage and congratulations to Auckland Action Against Poverty for hosting such an awesome event. There was one tense moment that we haven’t described here yet; where protesters stood on the barricades with banners and between the four paddy wagons present and the over-the-top police presence we really thought that it might end in mass illegal arrests (and undoubtedly many people later released without charges) however a genuine congratulations is in order to the NZ Police for above all remembering that there were children present and allowing the event to come to a close naturally, with no arrests. Thank you for that. Also for listening to the korero about police privatisation occurring internationally. You may not realise it yet but despite everything, when austerity comes to cut you guys, we will be marching for you as well. We are activists for ALL New Zealanders & in solidarity with the international Occupy movement – regardless of who your employer is. Kia ora.

This Is What Democracy Looks Like: Occupy NZ Media #BTB #ShowAndTell Coverage

(This post is now complete. Please share far and wide. Thank you so much for supporting citizen journalism. All credit to Occupy New Zealand Media team. Redstar’s livestream footage of this event is available here.)

Saturday 21st July 2012 was another awesome day for NZ students; who used the opportunity of the ruling National Party Conference hosted at SkyCity Casino (yes, THAT Sky City…) to push their message that education cuts, privatisation and forced austerity measures were NOT going to be taken lying down.

They did a brilliant job of organising this public event, which had many new features including NLG-style Legal Observers, free ‘Red Square’ pins for everyone and a welcoming crew that approached & chatted with members of the public throughout the day. The level of thought that had gone into the event really impressed us.

Below is a People’s Media mash-up of photos, tweets & our experiences on the ground. Non-commercial organisations (ie. other Occupy pages, citizen journalists, charities, organisations who openly endorse/support Occupy) are welcome to reprint/reblog/download/share any of the images below but we ask that you please credit Occupy New Zealand Media Team/Occupy Savvy. As usual the “big crowd” photos are about halfway down the post.

Kia ora koutou. It is a privilege to present this to you Aotearoa.

These guys were the first thing I saw heading into Britomart. The mat was roll-up & they would jump into the intersection when the pedestrian crossing turned green – roll out the mat – drop a freestyle to some old school b-boy blaring from their beatbox and then roll it back up & jump back out when the lights turned green. So cool.


These girls came straight up to me with big smiles and a free red square pin before I could even get to where the march was assembling.

Having such a friendly welcoming/outreach crew definitely made the difference, as I saw more and more members of the public enticed off the sidewalks and into the march proper.



The sound truck from last Saturday’s Aotearoa Is Not For Sale march made a reappearance, except instead of King Kapisi on the back, it was bearing a coffin!

Initially the police presence appeared minimal – probably a dozen cops. We found out later why so few were at Britomart… when we got to Sky City Convention Centre.

Looking towards the port, where the beleaguered MUNZ workers spent much of the last year fighting for basic work conditions and respect from their well-heeled employers.

They had this road truck follow them around dropping road cones opening & closing roads.

The march begins to form – with the familiar BLOCKADE THE BUDGET banner from the last Blockade The Budget student protest, which suffered mass arrests and police assaults on peacefully protesting students and faculty at Auckland University.

Our Occu-Mama & Occupy Media member Lyn repping Socialist Aotearoa. She is an inspirational wahine toa who is one of the 8 arbitrarily-selected members of Occupy Auckland to be personally persecuted and mercilessly prosecuted (at ridiculous ratepayer expense) by Auckland Council. (Who we prefer to refer to as Auckland Corporatouncil!)

^^^ Take a good look at the above photo. It was one of the most telling & hilarious parts of the event. We slipped in behind the Socialist Aotearoa banner with Lyn (despite the fact I’m actually not a socialist, S.A. have done a lot to support Occupy in NZ) and was immediately descended upon by the above reporter & cameraman for TV1 News. “Can we interview you?” They asked. “Sure” we said. “But we’re just going to grab a quick pic of you first.” Camera already out, within a microsecond the shot was taken. The reporter surprised & amused – the cameraman not even slightly amused. They asked us a few questions and we answered eloquently and fluidly enough that the reporter was surprised and exclaimed, “thanks, that was great!” while the cameraman scowled bitterly at us. They disappeared off for a quick huddle and then reappeared. The dinosaur cameraman demanded that we re-shoot the piece due to having had sunglasses on (it was 1pm). We politely refused and got told that the footage “wouldn’t be used then”. Why is this significant? Wait and see what happens with these two further down this post.

People begin to move onto the street as the march begins to fill up.

It soon becomes apparent that there are vastly more people in the middle of the street than there are on the pavement.

A lone motorbike cop in front of the march assembly.

People turn to face a small stage where speakers address the crowd and the street theatre commences.

School children hold up signs representing different types of employees and students effected by austerity measures and education cuts, then a man with a huge pair of fake scissors jumps out and literally cuts their signs in half. Pre-planned, they all laugh.

Naomi – performed a passionate piece of spoken word poetry, beautifully.

Jai Bentley-Payne spoke on behalf of the students, warning us “Austerity is a SCAM!!!”. We quoted him on livetweet on #BTB and #Showandtell hashtags as well as the Canadian student movement hashtags #ggi #casseroles #manifecours and within minutes, his quote was retweeted around the world by students in solidarity globally.

And finally – we were off. The march up from the bottom of Queen Street begins.

There was all different kinds of New Zealanders marching; of every colour, shape and background.

“They Take Our Education – We Take The Streets!”

The giant red solidarity square was out again – which the kids loved playing under.

John Key….. is a duck? LOL.

One of the greatest things about today was the brand spanking new student-provided legal observers. This is something sorely lacking at previous protests mainly due to the lack of NLG-type organisation in New Zealand to support democratic peaceful protesters. Looks like thanks to the students, this is changing. Kia ora students!

This iconic Auckland intersection (Victoria & Queen) once again occupied by the public – for the second time in eight days.

5000 post-grad students are estimated to be unable to continue study due to changes made by the ruling National Party and the austerity measures they are imposing upon education (and other public sectors).

The “Fuck The Rich” guy was back and very pleased when we told him our photo of his sign at last Saturday’s Aotearoa Is Not For Sale march was picked up by a Spanish-language online newspaper with 94,000 likes on their page. Pretty impressive.

I guess this is what they call civil disobedience! Though really, its exercise. The exercising of our democratic rights!

The mood quickly turns from jubilant to appropriately solemn as students bear the coffin all the way up Victoria Street from Queen Street as a funeral march plays.

Protesters observe a minute of silence but their signs speak on regardless.

We finally make it to Sky City Conference Centre….. and arrive at a shocking sight. Police officers wall the inside of the entrance two deep. People stand around with literally mouths hanging open at the wanton display of force. Yet still it is only a fraction of what will later greet us outside the casino itself.

Despite the police presence, protesters put signs and stickers up on the glass and the coffin is carried up to the entrance.

The crowd begin to chant enthusiastically. Most of the chants are recorded on the livetweet which can be found on Twitter

At first we thought they might be there to enforce the No Smoking policy…

Until we saw these guys.

As we clearly were not going to be able to enter the convention centre, off we went around the block, the long way to Sky City Casino. Completely unawares of what awaited us.

As we hit Federal Street, we realised the bottom over-street Skywalk was filled with Casino executives and the top Skywalk was filled with cops. Being towards the back, it took a few minutes to realise what was blocking the march at the front line…

It was awesome to see random members of the public out walking their dogs join the march… wonder what he thought of what was in front of him…

Tried to get closer to the front to find out why no one was able to move any further…

Passing ASB bank on Federal Street the cops were shoulder to shoulder but we still had no idea what lay ahead of the march…

As we reached this point the jackets in front of the march gave us some indication of what was ahead..

The police were walling off the road in Federal Street which explained why the march had ceased moving – however – we were not at all prepared for the sight of what was behind that first wall of police… take note of the far right cop in the above picture for a reference point…

The woman pictured to the bottom right wasn’t a cop or a protester. She was actually a member of the public who found herself stuck and couldn’t get through. We politely asked the police if they could please let her through as she wasn’t with us and was genuinely being prevented from accessing public space. They initially refused outright but after we insisted they should have an officer escort her through they relented and did so. Then – to our shock – remember Mr. grumpy dinosaur mainstream media cameraman? Well he showed up to our immediate left and says to the cops “let me through for a shot.” To our utter astonishment the police immediately stand aside and allow him through the line.

We were flabbergasted and immediately request to also be allowed through to take some shots to which we were told “that is for media only”. When we identified ourselves as media, the police supervisor told us “STAY WHERE YOU ARE” in an extremely rude and abrupt manner. We were puzzled – wondering why mainstream media could access the blocked area but not citizen journalists? Then we realise what the mainstream media camera was seeing from back there. Or more importantly – what it wasn’t.

From where they filmed – they couldn’t see the cops above them. They couldn’t see the cops behind them. They couldn’t see the barricaded forcibly closed street nor that all of the aforementioned collectively stopped the march from proceeding, ending and dissipating as quickly as planned by organisers. It soon became clear that they were tailoring their vantagepoint.

Apparently it wasn’t only MSM that got free access to behind police lines. There were also Sky City staff – assumedly supervisors – taking holiday snaps behind the front line. Not sure why they have more rights than the citizen journalists who were prevented from entering – would love to put in an official letter to the NZ Police to find out why corporate staff have greater access and rights when in the middle of a public street photographing a democratic protest, than our public independent media do? Ridiculous.

Perhaps blinded by the sight of so many flourescent vests, after some spirited chanting of “Army of the rich, enemy of the poor!” at the hundreds of police present, the march turns around and heads back to the Convention Centre; where there had seemed so many cops; but now seemed few by comparison!!

Even though by that point we were all using the sidewalk… the police preferred the road and trailed us all the way back to the convention centre…

…helpfully again lining the streets all the way around…

…and again blocking the entrance. Awesome.

The protest was officially called and we were really happy to meet this cheery lady and get this great pic of her Aotearoa Is Not For Sale t-shirt. Shout out to everyone who attended and supported today. Good on you for braving the intimidation tactics and having your say.


Leaving the site of the protest we had one last bizarre experience – we noticed a huge blacked out SUV parked across the pavement with two Sky City employees guarding it. As it is an unusual sight to see a vehicle parked on the pavement, with not a single police officer ticketing it, we stopped and took a photo. At which point the supervisor on the right hand side started to have a complete fit at us, demanding “NO PHOTOS, NO PHOTOS”. Before we could even begin to respond several members of the public interjected, with one screaming at him that he had no right to prevent the public taking photographs on public streets and essentially, who did he think he was for attempting to interfere with us. We asked him whose car it was and he snapped “it’s MY car”… because quite obviously Sky City supervisors park blacked out SUV’s across the pavement then guard them personally, with staff security guards also present? We don’t think so, buddy 🙂


We spotted some pretty awesome signs throughout the day. Below is a collection of them. Thank you to everyone for being so friendly and happily having your signs photographed.

Auckland Action Against Poverty are hosting tomorrow’s protest at the same location – click here for the Facebook event details.

Unite Union have been a big supporter of Occupy, Aotearoa Is Not For Sale, and the student movement.

Socialist Aotearoa, another huge supporter of Occupy and other protest movements in NZ.

Taking the piss out of the National slogan: “Shit policies = Shit edacation. National 4 a Brighta Futur”

Students have scrawled micro-messages to John Key all over their main “Blockade The Budget” banner.

Some of the language is pretty colourful and spirited but the message is clear. Invest in the future of New Zealand. Not finance companies and privatisation of public assets.

A pissed-off parent has their say.

A serious question…

Are you listening, “Mr” Key? No doubt your lackeys are…

Students are often under-appreciated by our government, who like to depict them as lazy.

Prime Minister Of New Zealand’s Promotional DVD “Recalled Over Music Copyright Breaches”, in this archived biography of John Key, state in paragraph 6:

“Key’s spin doctors are keenly aware that the public feel they still don’t really know Key. Hence a Meet John Key promotional DVD (later recalled over music copyright breaches).”

OMG! Call the FBI! Our very own Prime Sinister, John Key; ex-Federal Reserve Bank of America member; ex Merrill Lynch derivatives-trading executive; leader of New Zealand throughout the Kim Dotcom-FBI fiasco… is a PIRATE???

We are told that several people have tried to get hold of said promotional DVD and failed. It seems it was not reissued. Wonder what else is in there? Hmm?

This may account for John Key’s ludicrous claims that he didn’t even know who Kim Dotcom was prior to the raid, when it is well established that Key’s office was involved throughout Dotcom’s entire residency process. Key scared of being tarred with the same feather? Well you know what they say. Birds of a feather… flock together…

Most Banging Auckland Protest Video Ever #ANFS #J14

Rainbow Wiri – a pillar of NZ citizen videography, has compiled this STUNNING mash-up of #ANFS #J14 Auckland action last Saturday July 14, 2002.

He interviews a number of protesters of different ages and backgrounds and even manages to catch up with @endarken from Twitter for a chat about the widespread opposition to the sale of public assets and infrastructure in New Zealand. (Circa 05:49 to 07:28)

The soundtrack to the video had me dancing in my chair watching it – opening with “Chains” by Che Fu & moving into the audio from King Kapisi’s #J14 set – performed in the intersection of Queen St & Customs St in Auckland Central, at the beginning of the Aotearoa Is Not For Sale march. Finishes up with Kapisi’s “Stand”. Gorgeous soul reggae from the heart of Aotearoa.

#J14 Auckland Treasure Trove Of Pics – When They Say Noone Showed Up – Show Them This :)

Massive treasure trove of photos from today’s amazing #J14 Auckland event (part of the Aotearoa Is Not For Sale National Day of Action). Incredible turn-out, as is self-evident from the pics.

Aotea fenced by Auckland Council (another $18,000 odd rate-payer dollars down the drain) pre-action; yet again preventing public access to public space.

People begin assembling at Britomart for the Auckland #ANFS action

Front of march begins to form with lead banner reading “Aotearoa (New Zealand) Is Not For Sale”

Got the message yet John Key?

Despite it being the middle of winter, Kiwis of all shades and endeavours came together in force.

Group of hippies smoking pot and playing guitar. Oh, snap… it’s actually not…

New signs emerge as the march begins to come together onto the street.

Elder New Zealanders know full well that asset sales are a corporate rort.

People chilling out talking, waiting for beginning of march.

Sign says it all.

This is exactly what we all have to learn to do.

There is a “Drill And Mine Everything In Sight” agenda coupling the privatisation agenda in New Zealand. In what used to be a globally-admired pristine environment.

The sound truck arrives and sets up in front of the march for King Kapisi’s concert.

The front line grows wider, several banners across.

 Very subdued NZ Police presence; extremely surprising and pleasing. Probably half dozen cops at front & same at back with a few undercover cars. Good to see after the travesty at Blockade The Budget where students peacefully protesting were subject to mass arrests and numerous assaults on students by police were recorded on livestream and by witnesses.

The march numbers begin to swell as the street is taken.

We spot Miriam Pierard, the spokesperson for Aotearoa Is Not For Sale

King Kapisi begins his set, in the middle of the intersection of Queen St & Customs St, Auckland Central; intersection shutdown. His set is amazing – he freestyles over beautiful NZ hip hop & reggae beats, telling John Key exactly what is up and expressing solidarity with everyone fighting against injustice.

The waiata was a major highlight of the action. Didn’t know it before this but man can that dude sing. Got shivers with how real his words were. After King Kapisi’s set we prepare to begin the march.

Amanda from TV3. Mainstream media were out in force today. Actually they seemed a lot friendlier than usual. Maybe even they are enjoying their newfound freedom of being able to cover a broader perspective than the usual government-dictated one. Occupy media is pushing the boundaries & telling MSM in no uncertain terms – if you don’t do your job – we will. Kia ora to that.

By contrast – The People’s Media. @Redstar309z doing what he does best. Livestream the truth of what is happening in Auckland out to the entire world. “Media By Us Not Media Bias” he would say right now.

The Guillotine was brought out as a reminder that it is also Bastille Day and what politicians (and previously royalty) learn the hard way is that what THEY do… the streets can undo.

After a little concert in the middle of the stret… we’re off! The chants begin. “John Key – you’ve got mail! Aotearoa Is Not For Sale!”

Easiest way to keep track of how many people in the march – count the signs. There’s roughly 10-20 people per sign. See how many photos DON’T have the same signs in them, to gauge the size of the protest.

The march from side on. To give some idea of the width. Cool pic, love it.

Can only imagine what the voyeurs got to see on this little piece of surveillance. Wish livestream viewers got paid to watch this kind of footage on work time. Lulz!

Auckland absolutely rocking #J14. Did you hear about this on NewstalkZB? Hmm? No you didn’t. NewstalkZB 5pm news said: “About 200 people marched in Christchurch today” then failed to mention ANYTHING about the other 15 actions nationwide. LOLOL 1ZB. Hilarious. It’s like the NZ radio equivalent of Fox News.

 Students hold a red square in solidarity with the global student uprising.

March approaches Midtown. Love the little old lady. Solidarity! (Turns out she is veteran protester Marg Jones!)

Messages from the people.

Tautoko from Mana Movement, o he tangata.

Labour and Young Labour activists turned out in force, to protest against sale of public assets.

The dude in the bottom right hand corner has a message for our Prime Sinister, John Key.

After a lot of walking backwards I finally approach the end of the march.

The rear banner of the march.

Another sound car with speakers out the back playing hilarious political comedy that sounded suspiciously like Mr Guerilla Media himself Vinnie Eastwood.

An undercover car and a lone marked car at tail of march.

Saw tons of people with these awesome t-shirts on, promoting the petition website,

 Looking back up, by the SFWU peeps.

Love this guy – he even brought a donkey. We have a few of them in Parliament.

Protesters in solidarity with the Urewera political prisoners.

Kia ora to the Greens! The EPMU people also, with the blue banner.

Saw some really creative ways of getting a message across. This is one of them 🙂

At this point you’d have to be a complete moron to cling to the homeless-hippy-drug-addled-hipster-unemployed-anarchist-communist-mass media driven stereotypes cos its patently obvious that these are just everyday normal New Zealanders out there on the streets exercising their democratic rights.

Shot from back of march.

What a gorgeous view down Queen Street as we head up the rise to the Town Hall. Largest street of the largest city in New Zealand; ours.

MrNews Vinnie Eastwood from Guerilla Media was going around the crowd with this poster, pointing to John Key & asking “Excuse me, have you seen this man?” to great hilarity.

With the Town Hall at our backs in this shot – and Queen Street still completely covered in people, Miriam is on the mic setting out the schedule for the speeches and the People’s Assembly.

PLEASE NOTE: for the full live-tweet coverage of this event please check @ANFSJ14 @ANFSMedia @OccupyNZ @endarken @Redstar309z @keyweekat on Twitter or watch the livestream at

Occupy NZ Endorsement Of & Media Resources For #J14 Protest Actions In 17 NZ Cities/Towns

Occupy New Zealand wholeheartedly endorses the Aotearoa Is Not For Sale National Day of Action taking place across the nation tomorrow Saturday July 14, 2012.

We now hear as many as 17 cities & towns are organising solidarity actions for #J14. We are so proud of everyone getting involved in this momentous day for Aotearoa New Zealand.

We are participating in the promotion of the event and urge you to share the following details so that supporters worldwide may participate online.

We continue to support in every way we can, the edification & uplifting of ALL of the public of New Zealand and see these events as a hugely positive step forward for our country.

Kia ora whanaunga.





LIVESTREAM: @Redstar309z

LIVETWEET: @ANFSJ14 @OccupyNZ @endarken



Auckland –
Hamilton –
Tauranga –
Palmerston North –
Whanganui –
Taranaki –
Napier –
Christchurch –
Nelson –
Dunedin –
Wellington –
Hokianga / Rawene –
Timaru –
Takaka – 1pm, Main Street
Raglan – 2pm, Ngarunui Beach


Helen Kelly for the Council of Trade unions,
Phil Twyford for the Labour Party,
Russell Norman for the Green Party,
Winston Peters for New Zealand First,
Hone Harawira for the Mana Movement.

Also endorsed by:
We Are the University (Auckland)
Unite Union
The Public Service Association
The Service and Food Workers Union
The Maritime Union of New Zealand
New Zealand Nurses Organisation
Citizens Against Privatisation,
Public Services Association
PPTA (Auckland)
Occupy Movement
NZ First Youth Wing
Grey Power
Socialist Aotearoa.

Aucklanders Hold Mock Auction Of Prime Minister John Key’s Parnell Mansion

In the wake of legislation passed under urgency to “partially” privatise core state infrastructure assets in New Zealand, and to warm up ahead of the impending #J14 Aotearoa Is Not For Sale National Day of Action, today a group of Aucklanders dressed in their finest and brandishing canes, cigars and top hats, held a mock auction of Prime Minister John Key’s Parnell mansion.

We have been told the highest bid belonged to Kim Dotcom, the ultimate winner of the street theatre auction.

Pics below. For more info on the coming #J14 action please visit the Aotearoa Is Not For Sale campaign website.

MSM coverage:

Live tweet of the above event can be found at