Protest over state housing

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More than 20 Napier people are in Wellington today to join a protest at Parliament over the removal of state housing from Maraenui and other similar areas in New Zealand.

The protest will include the presentation of a petition to political party representatives on the steps of Parliament, after a march starting about midday.

The Napier group, Tu Tangata Maraenui, was yesterday welcomed onto a marae in Wainuiomata by a group including representatives from the dismantled Hutt Valley suburb Pomar. Both were being joined by representatives of groups opposing housing changes in Glen Innes, Auckland.

Napier group organiser Maxine Boag says it's not clear if any government representatives will be among those receiving the petition, but opposition parties had indicated their plans to be present.

The protesters are calling for Housing New Zealand to suspend its urban renewal programmes so the communities can be consulted. They also want the 90-day eviction notices issued in Napier to be withdrawn - based on claims homes are earthquake risks. They're also asking for the criteria for new houses to be reviewed to accommodate the growing numbers of families who have been forced into crisis situations.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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