Protester injured as group blocks way

By Liz Wylie

6 comments

A Whanganui protester was injured outside the Quality Inn Collegiate in Liverpool yesterday when her foot was allegedly run over by MP Chester Borrows' car.

Mr Borrows was leaving the hotel with visiting Social Housing and Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett when protesters blocked the hotel driveway. Police were attempting to move the protesters when the incident occurred.

Mr Borrows said he was not aware that he had run over anyone's foot and believed the police had pulled the protesters clear.

"I was inching forward very slowly and it looked to me as if they had all been moved off the driveway when I drove out," he said.

Mr Borrows and Mrs Bennett were leaving a meeting with the Whanganui Chamber of Commerce, Whanganui District Council members and local business people when the incident occurred. Protester Tracy Treadwell was taken to hospital by St John Ambulance and Whanganui TPPA Action Group spokeswoman Denise Lockett said Ms Treadwell's foot was badly bruised.

Ms Lockett also said her own ankle was struck by the MP's car and said she was disappointed that Mr Borrows did not allow time for protesters to move out of the way.

"The police were standing behind us and Tracy didn't have room to step back because there was a police officer behind her."

The two were among around a dozen protesters gathered outside the hotel yesterday.

Protester Phillip-Rewiti Bear was holding a sex toy device similar to the one thrown at Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce at Waitangi last month.

Although police asked him to hand over the object, they allowed him to keep it when he told them he did not intend to throw it at anyone.

Separate from the main group was protester Donna Lawrence carrying a united tribes of New Zealand flag and voicing concerns about welfare injustices.

Mr Borrows has confirmed that Whanganui police have spoken to him about Ms Treadwell's injury. The Chronicle was unable to contact Ms Treadwell.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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