‘Ka whawhai tonu mātou - ake ake.’ That’s a statement made by SOUL Collective who have been campaigning against the Ihumātao development in Māngere.

They claim the building development venture at Ihumātao is flawed.

One of the protesters is Brendon Corbitt.

“We must stop the destruction at Ihumātao protect Ihumātao is a simple thing it’s too precious to destroy.”

Every Friday the SOUL collective gather outside the Fletcher headquarters to protest against the company's housing development at Ihumātao - which they claim is one of their sacred sites.

Another protestor is Bobbi-Jo Pihema.

“Every week we are here, rain hail or shine. I whakapapa to that land not only myself but my tamariki, our tūpuna are there, the landing of the Tainui waka.”

According to these descendants, this isn't a protest for the sake of protesting.

Corbitt says they're protesting against other issues including the housing development at Ihumātao, the erosion of Pūkaki Cemetery as well as a new development.

“Just this morning AKL Airport announced the extension of the airport, that’s going to run across the Ururangi Awa and they're going to infill it, infill a sacred awa to build an airport on top of it at the end of that airport eight years ago they dug up the biggest urupā ever there were 89 bodies.”

Fletcher Building sent a statement saying:

"We are working closely and constructively with Te Kawerau Iwi Tribal Authority … dealing with the interests of Te Kawerau a Maki. The protestors from SOUL do not have this authority."

The SOUL Collective have scheduled to meet with housing minister Phil Twyford and local Labour MPs in early March about the housing development at Ihumātao.

LIKE