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'Radical rebels': Sean Plunket blasts Ihumātao protesters

Newshub logoNewshub 7/08/2019 Jamie Ensor, Mark Quinlivan

Protesters at Ihumātao are "radical rebels" who "want the world to burn", according to MagicTalk host Sean Plunket.

Plunket let rip on the demonstrators who have been protesting at the south Auckland site for the past few weeks, after occupiers were served an eviction notice. They say the land is sacred and want a planned housing development on the site blocked.

The protesters have been in a standoff with police ever since, with tensions peaking on Monday night. Increased policing numbers were deployed, and protest leader Pania Newton claimed she had been pushed to the ground by an officer - something police reject.

A video Newshub reported on Wednesday also shows a protester racially abusing an officer.

Currently, protesters are in talks with relevant parties to find a way forward. The Prime Minister announced last month that there would be a temporary halt to construction until that happened.

But Plunket said it was clear that protesters had no legal right to be there, and should leave the site immediately.

a group of people posing for the camera: Watch: A snippet of a protester racially abusing a police officer. © Video - Facebook; Image - MediaWorks Watch: A snippet of a protester racially abusing a police officer. "They don't really seem to be organised in a way that you can identify who the group is and what they stand for," he said on his Wednesday show.'

"They do increasingly seem to be a bunch of radical rebels and they will never get what they want because what they want to do is overthrow the system of law and governance in New Zealand."

Māori Party president Che Wilson said the Government needs to do more.

"All I have witnessed at Ihumātao is the showing of thousands of our people standing peacefully in solidarity to see the rightful recognition of Ihumātao as a heritage site."

But Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Tuesday she won't visit the site.

"A visit wouldn't help," she said. "The talks need to be between Māori for Māori."

Protester admits racial abuse

Several live videos were posted to protester Anikaaro Harawira-Havili's Facebook page on Monday night. One shows her getting close to officers and insulting them, while they don't react.

Towards the end she approaches one officer, who appears to be of south Asian descent, and suggests he leave the country.

"Another foreigner occupying our whenua in Aotearoa and then not even letting us on our own. F**k off back to your own country," she said.

Harawira-Havili admitted to the abuse in a Facebook post on Wednesday morning.

"Truth. Yes, I abused the shit out of the officers that tried to Dawnraid [sic] us at Ihumātao. Particularly the Senior Sergeant that knocked three Wahine over," she wrote.

"Truth #2. I don't apologise at all!"

Negotiations between the deputy Police Commissioner and the organisers of the protests are ongoing.

Pictures: Ihumātao stand-off: in pictures

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