An Irish man is calling on the government to take urgent action to protect the land it is responsible for managing in New Zealand.
Gavan McCarthy says he is determined to “take the first steps towards reclaiming” the vast majority of the land he owns in the Waikato National Park, and to “help our people”.
The 61-year-old is part of a growing movement of people who have reclaimed their land to prevent the loss of millions of dollars in revenue to a state agency, the National Trust.
McCarthy is one of the most senior figures to take part in the “First Day” protest on Saturday.
He told The Irish Sun he wanted to make a stand to stop the state government’s plans to transfer land in the national park to the New Zealand Trust.
“The money is in our pocket, we are on a journey of reclaiming it,” he said.
“We are going to do what we need to do.
The money is ours.
We are going back to the land.
We’re going to be in it for ever.”
McCarney, a retired teacher and father of two, is the director of the Waikiatia National Trust, which manages more than 4.5 million hectares of land in Waikatia, Hauraki and Te Awamutu.
It is a key part of the country’s economy, with nearly half of the population living on the Waichatu peninsula.
The Waikatu region of New Zealand has been the focus of a series of major protests, including the ones at the start of this year.
McCambridge said the government was “playing dumb” by ignoring the concerns of farmers.
“It’s like the people are saying, ‘The government is stupid.
The government is trying to do a dumb thing.
Why are we so angry?’.”
It has got to stop.
“McCamford said he was planning to join the First Day march from the Waikea National Park to Parliament House.
He said he hoped to take a stand for “our people”.
Auckland City Council said it was aware of the protest and was in contact with the people involved.”
Council and its agencies will continue to monitor the situation and will work with the trust to ensure the best outcomes are achieved for the trust’s members and the public,” the council said in a statement.”
A number of our members have expressed interest in taking part in this year’s protest and, if they wish to, they will be able to do so at their discretion.
“The Waichatia Trust said the majority of its members were employed by the Waicana Trust, the state agency responsible for the national parks, and were paid in cash.”
Any disruption of the Trust’s operations will be managed by the Trust, and any disruption of Waikataa’s operations would be dealt with by the State Government, and not the Trust,” the trust said in its statement.