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Arrests follow Glen Innes housing protest

Published: 6:59AM Wednesday April 18, 2012 Source: ONE News

Several people have been arrested for obstruction after lying beneath the wheels of a truck in an ongoing housing row in Auckland.

Protesters in Glen Innes blocked the truck as it was supposed to remove a house as part of plans to re-develop 156 properties in the suburb.

Housing New Zealand says only half of the properties will remain as state houses and the other sites will be sold for redevelopment and it is working closely with affected tenants to rehouse them.

Yesterday protesters chanted "we shall not be moved" as police stepped in to break up the action.

Senior Sergeant Graeme Porter said police managed to diffuse the situation and got the truck and trailer back under the house.

He said the residents do have a right to express their opinions but it is his job to make sure their actions do not interfere with other members of the public.

The mostly Pacific Island and Maori community say the development will force many families to leave the area, severing connections with schools and churches.

In February protesters barricaded themselves in a vacant home to stage a sit-in.

Housing New Zealand programme manager Graham Bodman said in February it was understandable long-term tenants would want to stay in their homes but housing shortages mean land has to be developed to accommodate a growing number of tenants.

He said the 156 properties they are redeveloping will make way for 275 new town houses.

- with Newstalk ZB