This site is an archived version of Indymedia prior to 5th November 2012. The current site is at www.indymedia.org.nz.

Features

WELLINGTON BYPASS: Bar Bodega's Close Met with Plantings and Protest

in

Protests have met the closing of Wellington icon Bar Bodega, which was shut
down under threat from the proposed Te Aro 'bypass'. Bodega sits right in the
middle of the proposed road and is to be demolished if the 'bypass' project
goes ahead.

About twenty Anti-'Bypass' Action (ABA) protestors rallied outside Bodega
with placards, while others planted and built in the reclaimed space of
Tonks Ave Gardens.
The action marked the first birthday of the community garden, land destined
for the Bypass but taken back by the community.

Number 12 Tonks Avenue, one of many historic buildings scheduled for
Bypass demolition, was liberated for the day.

The actions follow the mass occupation of Stagecraft theatre on Mayday
this year, and further demonstrations at the Historic Places Trust and
Wellington City Council [check out Issue 9 of Windy for details].


[ Campaign for a Better City ]

FREE PRESS: Who Owns the Media?

in

Bill Rosenburg, a writer on foreign investment with CAFCA, recently documented the concentration of ownership that has lead to 3 billionaires dominating our news media:

(1) Rupert Murdoch controls Independent Newspapers Ltd, through his US-based News Corp Ltd empire, which publishes 70% of total newspapers, magazines, and sporting publications in NZ, and SKY-TV (66%).

(2) Irishman Tony O'Reilly owns Wilson & Horton through Independent News & Media, with 42% of daily newspaper circulation, magazines, & The NZ Radio Network, boasting over 50% of the radio market.

(3) Canadian Israel "Izzy" Asper: sits at the helm of CanWest which owns TV3 & TV4, the MoreFM network, and RadioWorks, with 47% of NZ radio advertising revenue.

Media & Democracy:

Australia offers us a helpful explanation of why their media ownership restrictions are so important: "the effective functioning of a democracy requires a diverse ownership of the daily mass media to ensure that public life be reported in a fair and open manner."

NZ eliminated media ownership restrictions in the late 1980s, In 2001 INL, W&H, & Canwest controlled:

--Over 90% of daily newspaper circulation

--Over 90% of commercial radio stations

--Commercial free-to-air and pay-TV (excluding TVNZ)

This ownership concentration is detrimental to NZ democracy for a number of reasons, including:

1) Direct & Indirect owner influence on news: these 3 media giants have shown themselves willing to use their media outlets for financial and ideological self-interest e.g. FoxTVCensorship. More prevalent is self-censorship by journalists/editors who know that anything hostile to their employer's interests is doomed.

2) Aggressive pursuit of profits, leading to: slashing of news costs/personnel e.g. Dominion/Post "merger", reliance on corporate/government sources, the "dumbing-down" of news, and less local reporting.

3) Influence of advertising on news, and Interlocking corporate directorships.

Solutions:

Bill Rosenburg suggested to me that "We could replicate and improve" on Australia's media ownership laws, "reduce the commercialisation of TV, and set up publicly or community owned non-commercial newspapers to provide competition and alternative news sources to the commercial ones. Indymedia is an example using the Internet. The Internet is itself an increasingly powerful alternative source of information and news. But mainstream media remain important because they set national social/political agendas".


[ Read more | Comment on this article | CAFCA ]

FREE PRESS: Angry Students Occupy Union Building

in

Angry Waikato University students have occupied the Waikato Student Union Building. This follows the censorship and destruction of student owned magazine Nexus by non other than the Waikato Student Union Executive.

Early today the occupiers have had one of their phone lines cut and have been threatened with violence by an WSU Executive member.

The conflict between the WSU and Nexus arose after an article critical of an executive member was published in Nexus in March. The member was granted $10,000 of student money to sue Nexus for defamation. Several of the executive's friends and family members were part of the committee that granted him the money, despite admitting it was a conflict of interest for them to do so.

The latest issue of Nexus, which the WSU executive have confiscated before it could be distributed, contains an editorial and article critical of the WSU Executive. It is believed the issue has been burnt by the WSU, who have also threatened the magazine with liquidation.

The Waikato Students Union have stopped virtually all communication with their membership. Nexus publication has ceased, minutes of executive meetings have not been released, and there has not been an open student meeting in a month.

The occupiers are hoping to hold out until Wednesday, when a Open Student Meeting will be held.

Update: The occupation of the Waikato students union and Nexus magazine offices has ended in a victory for the occupiers. A halt to the action was called after negotiations with WSU, who have agreed to nearly everything on the list of demands.


[ The offending articles | List of demands | Waikato Student's Union ]

YOUNG NICK'S HEAD: Tent Embassy Established at Parliament

in

Around noon on Monday 5 August a group of about 200 protestors arrived at parliament grounds, Wellington. Many of them had been on the hikoi (march) from Young Nick's Head, Gisborne, which left 11 days earlier. Most of the hikoi participants were from the Ngai Tamanuhiri iwi, who were dispossessed of the land around Young Nick's Head in the 19th century.

The protest group asked to see finance minister Michael Cullen, who is to decide on Friday 9 August whether to allow the sale of Young Nick's Head to the US millionaire John Griffen. Mr Cullen was not available, nor the prime minister Helen Clark. The Speaker of the House, Jonathan Hunt, told the protestors they could not stay on the grounds overnight, and were not to erect any tent or other structure. (The precedent was the tent embassy in parliament grounds after the Hikoi of Hope in 1999, which maintained a presence for four months before being broken up with arrests).

After several hours in biting southerly wind, the protestors were allowed into parliament for a hui in the Maori Affairs Select Committee room. Here a discussion was held, with media exclusion, on further planned protest actions.

About ten protestors stayed overnight on Tuesday, in defiance of the Speaker's warning the day before. At about 10 am on Wednesday morning protestors met with Mr Cullen to ask him to halt the sale of the historic land and put forward an offer to buy the land on behalf of the New Zealand people.

A tent embassy has been established on parliament grounds, and will remain at least until Friday.

Watch this space. Sign the on-line petition

Update: The government say they have gifted the cliff, pa site and peak of Young Nicks Head to people of Aotearoa. In a press release on Friday Finance Minister Dr Cullen also stated a trust will established to protect the cultural and historic values of the land. The iwi however have not been told the full details of the agreement, and are meeting on Sunday to discuss the sale further.


[ www.tekuri.com | Further Indy stories ]

DIGITAL RIGHTS: Microsoft Plans "Secure Computing" Initiative

in

Microsoft Corp., the company that is responsible for the vast
majority of computer security problems (viruses, easily cracked backdoors, etc.) is preparing a digital "remote control" system called Palladium as a solution to security problems. While this may sound useful, Palladium would be the most invasive, restrictive, and anti-competitive system ever devised.

Under Palladium, files ranging from personal internet history to even hard disk contents could be remotely scanned for and deleted. Websites deemed "insecure" would be blockable as well to Palladium-enabled computers. Leaks would become a thing of the past, as government bodies and corporations could use Palladium to make their documents unreadable on other computers.

This system, also known as the "Trusted Computing Platform Alliance" (TCPA), would threaten href="http://www.fsf.org/philosophy/free-sw.html" target="new">free and
target="new">open source software. The
Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) made reverse engineering systems such as Palladium illegal, which makes the development of a GPL version nearly impossible.


[ Portland IMC Feature | Madison IMC Feature | TCPA / Palladium FAQ ]

GENETIC ENGINEERING: Indymedia GE Debate: a rough guide

in

Since our feature 'GE
Dominates Election Debate
' this site has been swamped with the GE issue.
Here are some of the articles.

We have the Council of Trade Unions
criticising the Greens for not being 'constructive'.
The Life Sciences
Network
asserts that it is being 'politically
neutral
' in its information about GE and offers some 'facts'
about corngate
. Greenpeace offers some humour and analysis with the 'Clarkies
corn-coverup
'. Also Physicians and
Scientists for Responsible Genetics
talk about 'more
appropriate uses
' and 'wasted
resources
' for the reported 3 percent of current research funding which
is involved in activities which would be delayed by a Moratorium extension.
They then cast questions about the 'future
safety of GE foods
' and answer some 'irrational
outbursts
' from their critics.

Two posts question the accuracy of an article published in Nature
which asserts that 'genetically-modified
corn ... contaminated native strains in ... Mexico
'( here
is the original article
). Followed by the Bluegreens
attacking the Greens for being 'spinners'
(not of wool, but rather facts).

For the keen you can download a sheet of GE free stickers here.
Look out for them at a bus station or lamppost near you! And if all that's
not enough for you you can add something yourself by clicking here.
Enjoy!

roving


[ GE Corn Bites PM Helen Clark in Election Campaign ]

NGAWHA: No Let Up in Anti-Prison Actions

in

Actions continue in response to the Department of Corrections plan to build a prison in the geothermal region of Ngawha, Northland.

Today around 15 people got their message across in New Plymouth, while 30 people picketed the Head Office of the Department of Corrections in Wellington yesterday. Unfortunately the Police felt the need to attack and intimidate M

TE KOMAKO MOTUHAKE: Welcome to the New Aotearoa Indymedia Site!

in

Anti-Bypass demo - Wellington

We are part of an open publishing media collective offering non-corporate coverage of events, protests, actions, issues and celebrations. On our relaunched site you can now upload your images, sound and video files.

Unuhia te rito o te harakeke

Kei hea te komako e ko

Whakatairangitia, rere ki uta, rere ki tai

Nau i ki mai, " He aha te mea nui?"

Naku i ki atu, "He tangata, he tangata, he tangata!"

If you pluck out the centre of the flaxbush,

where will the bellbird sing?

It will fly aimlessly here and there.

If you were to ask me what is the greatest thing.

I would say it is people, people, people.

He komako tenei, he komako kawe karere, he komako kawe matauranga ki te iwi. Anei 'Te Komako motuhake'. Ka rere tenei manu ki tai, ka rere tenei manu ki uta, kia
hora nga whakaaro tuturu o te tangata. Ko Indymedia he huinga motuhake o etahi ohu papaho me nga kairipoata tini ka whakapahotia nga pitopito korero o te wa, ki
tua te ringa kaha o nga kaporeihana. No reira ka mihi whanui ki nga waka maha, ki nga whanau, ki nga hapu, ki nga iwi, ki nga hapori whanui i roto i nga
ahuatanga katoa o te wa.

Who we are:

The Independent Media Centre (IMC) is a network of collectively run media outlets for the creation of radical, accurate, and passionate tellings of the truth. We work out of a love and inspiration for people who continue to work for a better world, despite corporate media's distortions and unwillingness to cover the efforts to free humanity.

Globally Indymedia and Open Publishing is critical in providing a 'from the street' view of many major protests such as against the WTO, IMF, WEF, G8 . IMC's have received attention from some mainstream media and been ignored and consored by others. More recently IMC's have been the target of legal, physical and electronic attacks.

The idea of Indymedia in New Zealand came together in April 2001 on their first discussion list. There were interested people from Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, Nelson and Hamilton. While the focus started on regional meetings it quickly transformed into a national network and set up a site in July. With an April 2002 meeting in Adelaide attention is being given to strengthening the Indymedia network in Oceania.

Some issues already covered by AIM contributors include Genetic Engineering, the 'War on Terror', 'immigrants' and more.

Though most corporate media ignore IMC's, they are part of an enormous network of independent media groups 1 2 which does get some recognition. You can see in the left column just how wide the IMC network has grown.

AIM actively encourages involvement of and work
with M

ANIMAL RIGHTS: Battery Hen Campaign Escalates

in

Animal liberation protestors in Dunedin

Animal liberation groups from across New Zealand have combined their
collective powers to form one of the biggest animal rights campaigns to hit
the country. Focusing on the impending review of welfare laws for egg laying
hens, the push is to ban the battery cage completely.

Most notable so far has been the huge variety of tactics used, from protests
and hen liberations to cinema advertising and submission collection.

6 battery hens were rescued this Easter, including one which was liberated
from the biggest battery hen company in New Zealand, Mainland Poultry.
Activists also documented conditions inside the sheds, finding sick,
overcrowded and severely de-feathered hens.

These liberations occurred during three days of intense protests in Dunedin.
These actions not only shut down Mainland Poultry's Dunedin office for a
day, but included a battery farm occupation and a "die-in' out side the main
shareholder's office.

Actions didn't stop there; call-in days, poster campaigns, and the dumping
of hay throughout Mainland Poultry's office have followed. The Animal
Liberation Delivery Service claimed the hay action, which also included
leaves and stink bombs, stating in a press release:

"Battery hens will never feel the sun, scratch the earth or even walk
around. They live in tiny dark sloping wire cages, four birds to each cage.
Their suffering is extreme and relentless - and we will be relentless too."

Ministers of Parliament have been taken on tours of battery farms and
battery hen footage has been broadcast on national television (courtesy of
activists who liberated 10 battery hens last Easter, and the SPCA, who
produced and paid for the broadcast).

Save Animals from Exploitation (SAFE) are currently demonstrating every week
at battery farms and running intense anti-battery farming advertising
campaigns.
Already 100,000 submissions against the battery cage have been collected, a
month before the submissions formally open.

There are 2.4 million battery hens in New Zealand, a farming practice banned
in Switzerland, Denmark, and being completely phased out in Germany.


[ Dunedin protests | Hen liberated from Mainland Poultry | Five hens liberated over Easter ]