On Monday, my daughter Myra and I went for a bike ride around the bays of Wellington. Along the way, we dropped in on one of the groups occupying te Mahanga Bay to enjoy a cup of tea and learn more about this occupation.
These people, primarily local Maori, are trying to prevent the intensive development of this regenerating natural space once seized from its Maori owners during WWII to be an airforce base of all things. They have since returned this land to its rightful owners. However, there are deep divisions within the owners over its future. Some people will make millions of dollars by selling their ownership to property developers.
What saddens me is Wellington will lose most of the open spaces of the peninsula if the development goes ahead as planned and traffic increases, thus spoiling its relatively pristine and pedestrian-friendly environs.
While Myra enjoyed her cup of tea, I took the opportunity to interview Te Pou, the leader of the Mahanga Bay occupation. Here is what he has to say: