Cherie Howie

Cherie Howie is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

Asset sales threat stirs first-time protester

Minke Botes and 2-year-old Luca Namoa join 3000 protesters in Auckland City. Photo / Jason Dorday
Minke Botes and 2-year-old Luca Namoa join 3000 protesters in Auckland City. Photo / Jason Dorday

With her young son on her hip, Minke Botes joined around 3000 people in Central Auckland yesterday to make her voice heard in the ongoing public backlash against asset sales.

Botes, a teacher and mum of two, had never been in a protest before. But she felt so strongly about the Government's plans that she left her Glen Innes home to march up Queen St with 2-year-old Luca Namoa.

The Aotearoa Is Not For Sale group organised yesterday's march in Auckland and 15 others around the country, including one attended by around 500 people in Christchurch.

Many people waved the flags of political parties and unions in Auckland yesterday but Botes attended on her own.

"This is the first protest I've ever been to. I'm here for all New Zealanders."

She wanted to protect the country from the Government's "silly and short-sighted" decision and was pleased she had made the effort. "It's pretty cool. I feel like I'm making a difference, instead of just staying home."

Auckland businessman Robert Daggar was also at his first protest. The 61-year-old said state-owned assets must be kept "for the good of the people, not sold for profit. This ideology around asset sales is crippling the world."

Wearing a hat with the message "no asset sales", 91-year-old Margaret Jones said she was compelled to join the walk because she was angry at the Government. "These assets belong to me just like they do to everyone else."

Protesters vented their anger when the march reached the Town Hall.

Dummies of John Key, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English and ministers Paula Bennett and Judith Collins were beheaded by a makeshift guillotine to cries of "off, off, off" from the crowd.

- Herald on Sunday

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