18 Apr 2012

Rally in Auckland against 'violent' police treatment

9:47 pm on 18 April 2012

About 50 people are rallying in the Auckland suburb of Glen Innes against what they say was violent treatment by police.

They say people were left battered and bruised during a protest on Tuesday night against the removal of state houses from the suburb.

The group includes a large Mana Party contingent and started Wednesday night's protest outside the Glenn Innes police station, shouting the word "shame".

They then walked down to the area where Tuesday night's protest took place.

The group walked past a police roadblock after confronting the officers there, asking them what right they had to block the street.

Mana Party leader Hone Harawira has addressed the crowd, congratulating the Glenn Innes community on taking a stand against the housing project.

Housing New Zealand is asking some tenants to move house as it redevelops more than 150 properties to create at least 260 new homes.

The Mana Party says six people were arrested from Silverton Road and one woman had to be taken to hospital after having what it says was a seizure resulting from police brutality.

A truck that was sent to remove a state house was delayed for about three hours after four protesters lay beneath it.

One protester was dragged from under the truck and three more climbed out willingly after being warned they would be removed forcibly.

Mana Party vice-president John Minto was among those arrested and he says the community is resisting the project and escalating confrontations are inevitable.

He says Housing Minister Phil Heatley needs to halt the project for a month to allow time for talks with community representatives to avert the ongoing confrontations with developers and the police.

The police could not immediately be reached for comment.