Mayor Tim Shadbolt relives his stand with Ngāti Whātua

By Taroi Black

Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt is one of the country's longest-serving mayors. The Invercargill Mayor was arrested twice during the evictions at Bastion Point and today took a trip down memory lane with many other protestors who gathered to commemorate the occasion.

Shadbolt says, “It was an inspiring movement to be a part of and we won at the end of the day”.

Shadbolt was one of over 200 protesters who were arrested.

“I think there'd been a quantum shift in the New Zealand consciousness.  There was a real feeling that we had to deal with the ethnic and racial makeup of this country in a different way than we've been doing before”.

He was also a staunch follower of Dame Whina Cooper and Eva Rickard during the Māori land marches in the 1970s.

“This was the grand-daddy of them all because it was an occupation that went for so long”.

Police were ordered by the government to evict protestors but today they are continuing to support Ngāti Whātua Orakei in moving forward.

Auckland police Māori responsiveness manager Scott Gemmell says, “Times have changed. But we must recognise the events that took place”.