Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation

by Daphna Whitmore

Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country.

This action is practical solidarity and moral support for the cause.

The preparation for cooking for so many people is impressively handled by First Union organiser  Edith Tamaki. She is the chair of the union’s Runanga and has been the key person making this solidarity happen every week. That involves planning, shopping, stocking everything from food, cutlery, cooking utensils, cleaning equipment, filling gas bottles, keeping food chilled. She and her team boil eggs, prepare salads, butter bread, and peel and slice onions every week. Organiser Neil Chapman brings along homemade soups and delicious bean dishes. He and organiser Mark Muller have grilled thousands of sausages. Louisa Raines Jones from First Union and Sarah Barker from NZNO have been rolling up their sleeves each Sunday too, along with organisers and delegates from many unions.

First Union organisers Mark Muller, Neil Chapman and Edith Tamaki with SOUL leader Pania Newton
From NZNO Sarah Barker and from First Union Louisa Raines Jones




Redline has covered the background to the dispute here.




  1. Great working class solidarity. Great food. Very important struggle. Thanks for the continuing reporting on this fight.

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