A personal finance columnist for the NZ Herald

Inside Money: Financial heart eludes preoccupied protestors

The Occupy Auckland march makes its way up Queen Street before setting up in Aotea Square. Photo / Amos Chapple
The Occupy Auckland march makes its way up Queen Street before setting up in Aotea Square. Photo / Amos Chapple

New Zealand anti-greed protesters have abandoned plans to occupy the country's major financial districts after failing to identify any suitable locations.

Auckland event organiser, Ken Rabble, said the hundreds who marched against corporate excesses in Sunday's demonstration had hoped to emulate the success of global protestors who have occupied several financial centres. Mr Rabble said the Auckland marchers settled eventually on Aotea Square as a temporary rallying point.

"We really searched for the financial heart of the city but we couldn't find one," Mr Rabble said. "Aotea Square will do. Lots of room anyway and didn't there used to be a St Laurence sign on one of those buildings?"

A similar protest in Wellington fizzled out when dozens of frustrated marchers got lost trying to find the New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX).

"I know it's down by the water somewhere," one protestor objected. "But all those buildings look the same. Do you reckon that's a stockbroker over there?"

Protests in the capital were expected to focus on the exit package of departing NZX chief, Mark Weldon.

"The campaign may have to shift to Weldon's Bannockburn winery once we establish its whereabouts," another marcher complained. "Let him taste the grapes of wrath."

It is understood Invercargill-based anti-capitalism demonstrators successfully picketed the Westpac money machine in downtown Kelvin Street.

Prime Minister, John Key, dismissed the anti-corporate marchers as "out of step with the times".

"We all know that markets move in clearly defined cycles of greed and fear," Key said. "Sure, some professions - such as currency traders, for example - do particularly well during the greed part of the cycle.

"But what comes around, goes around, and we're, I guess you'd say, in the fear part of the greed/fear cycle now and we're just going to have to get on with it and build that cycle track."

A nationwide anti-fear rally has been scheduled for next weekend, weather pending.

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A personal finance columnist for the NZ Herald

David is a freelance journalist who has covered the financial services business on both sides of the Tasman for over 15 years. He is the editor of industry website Investment News. David has edited magazines and websites for the financial advice, investment and superannuation industries.

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