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Thousands protest against government budget

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Thousands of people across New Zealand have participated in protests organized by Te Pāti Māori and supporters of the Toitū Te Tiriti (Honour the Treaty) movement.

The protests coincided with the government’s annual Budget announcement. Crowds gathered in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Hamilton. Despite some travel disruptions, participants were well-behaved and dispersed peacefully.

In Auckland, three ‘carkoi’ slowed traffic on major motorways during peak hours, and over 1000 people gathered in Aotea Square to demonstrate against government policies towards Māori. In Hamilton, large groups walked to Waikato University, leaving their cars at home. Wellington saw more than 1000 people gather at the Railway Station before marching to Parliament.

Christchurch also saw significant participation, with hundreds gathering in the city center. Organizer Merita Waitoa-Paki addressed supporters outside the Bridge of Remembrance, emphasizing that the day was about unity for all Māori.

In Whangārei, a march occupied one lane of Bank Street for more than a kilometer, causing some disruption but receiving supportive toots from passing motorists.

The peaceful nature of these protests highlights the commitment of participants to express their concerns respectfully while advocating for their rights and the recognition of the Treaty of Waitangi.

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