CDHB chooses force - Christchurch Mail 210312

CDHB chooses force - Christchurch Mail 210312

The beginning of the end
Occupy costs hospital $12k a week “Extra security hits tax payers’ pockets” Christchurch Mail 21/03/2012
OCCUPY PROTESTERS have cost Christchurch Hospital $12,000 a week for extra security guards.
The Canterbury District Health Board, funded by taxpayers, employed three extra guards this month after protesters harassed staff walking to their cars. The cost to the hospital will be presented to city councillors tomorrow, who will decide whether they will evict the protesters from Hagley Park. Occupy are expected to present the group’s case at the meeting, one of the original camp protesters, Kelly Pope, said. Earlier this month hospital security had issued 25 trespass notices to Occupy members using hospital facilities.
CDHB corporate services manager Murray Dickson said the extra guards were in place 24 hours a day. Security measures have been in place since March 1, meaning the minimum cost to date has been $36,000 for staff alone. He said the costs were not limited to the three extra staff. The security team as a whole spent up to 40 hours a week dealing with Occupy-related issues. Costs for cleaning bathrooms more frequently and updating staff were adding to the bill.
A representative said the additional security measures had been funded from the existing Christchurch Hospital security budget.
CDHB submitted a record of incidents requiring security intervention to the council, and said the problems associated with the Occupy camp were “extremely unacceptable”. The CDHB said hospital staff were “frightened” and “uncomfortable”. Police had attended 153 incidents in the area since the occupation began. ABBIE NAPIER

Away from camp, a Christchurch Stadium rebuild worker suffered a Vicious attack in Lincoln Rd. As he was an Occupy resident, police would not investigate.

Occupy Christchurch petition to Christchurch City Council – 22 March 2012
Occupy Christchurch thanks the people of Christchurch and the Christchurch City Council on their behalf, for the tolerance shown while the eastern corner of South Hagley Park has been occupied for political protest and human development. The main causes pursued have been economic and environmental justice and afford-ability of housing. We know we speak for many. Christchurch has surging housing demand, after recent tragic and destructive earthquakes. Occupy has built a valid role in the emergency response to human need, where the credit growth-bubble burst in 2008 has laid firm foundations.
We have read the Council officers’ report on the legal means for removing the protest occupation and we commend the diligence of their pubic service. We express solidarity with them as workers and for the recent injury to their own. The case made against Occupy today is an incomplete and unfair story, however, so we answer specific points in it.
17. Law-breaking and bad behaviour ascribed to Occupy Christchurch are problems of the city streets, which CDHB has ongoing management challenges with. Concentration of more challenge through the Occupy camp, at one stage, is acknowledged. But the occupiers have brought the misbehaviour under control themselves weeks ago, before the recent bad press flurry. The lack of recent incident reports bears witness to improvement in this community and should be researched by journalists. Occupy Christchurch has a Safer Spaces policy, with zero tolerance of alcohol or substance use within sight of camp, that the camp whanau group enforces.
The problem we had was one of homeless youth, experimenting with substances as they do and causing difficulty for everyone including themselves. This “couch-surfing” fraternity escaped the camp to escape police and all have seen the benefit of their leaving several weeks ago. Society’s problems became Occupy’s problems, and we should not be blamed for that. We have been educating the wayward young people in better ways of behaviour and getting on in life. They learn.
Community now exists where outdoor residents can work together, within the law and away from CDHB facilities, having found purpose and greater collective way of life. The transformational benefits of the Occupy grouping are thus both real and a solution, to marginalisation and anti-social attitudes, that did not exist before. We would like you to share our vision of a better world brought about through Occupy.
Students, activists, workers and under-employed, old and young, tangata whenua and international travelers – many have been brought together through the urgency for change. Being together has built listening and co-operation amongst communities that need it greatly. Occupy Christchurch is of outstanding benefit to the city, thus. It is a great point of difference that the Christchurch Occupy still exists. We ask you to work with us to extend the gains from this protest community’s unique five and a half month existence.
* The City Mission is full to capacity, and, while a new building is going up, it can’t be used until well into winter: Occupy provides important temporary housing, under the circumstances. Rebuild workers have become regular inhabitants of the camp, as rental accommodation is very scarce.
* Where does the CCC recommend that the tent community should go to live otherwise?
* Would better management not keep South Hagley Park toilets open, until the site use is resolved?
* What is the action plan for Occupy Corner please, that we may seek an optimal outcome for all?

Council to act on Hagley Park protest
Press Release: Christchurch City Council 22 March 2012
Christchurch City Council has directed staff to enforce a city bylaw by removing Occupy Christchurch protestors from South Hagley Park.
The Council today considered a report from staff outlining a means for the Council to remove the group, which is camping illegally in the park. The Council also heard from representatives of the protestors, who made a deputation to the meeting this morning.
Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker says the protestors raised some issues of concern and he is asking staff to contact city social agencies to help the protestors should they need to find alternative accommodation.
“Public feedback has overwhelmingly requested that the campers be removed so that all residents can have access to the park. While everyone in this country has the right to protest, they do not have the right to do so in breach of a bylaw and in a way that stops other residents from using a popular public space.
“The Council has taken a measured approach to the issue of protestors camping in South Hagley Park and I make no apologies for the time it has taken to remove them. Staff have carefully followed the outcomes of action taken by other local councils who have dealt with similar protests in their areas, to ensure we are acting correctly.
“We were particularly interested in the legal outcome of the Auckland Council’s application to the High Court to stop the campers from breaching a bylaw. The High Court decision was that the bylaw did not breach the Bill of Rights; it found that there was no fundamental human right to camp in a public place without a permit. This satisfied us that we would not be in breach of the Bill of Rights by removing the protestors.
“For good reason, these protestors have not been our top priority – over past months our focus has remained on the massive task of rebuilding our city. Staff have monitored the situation and the Council is now saying enough is enough.”
South Hagley Park is vested in the Council as a recreation reserve for the purpose of recreation activities for the enjoyment of the public. The Council’s Parks and Reserves Bylaw 2008 provides that no person may, without the prior written permission of an authorised Council officer:
* Place a sign in a reserve (clause 6(1)(d)); or
* Camp in a reserve unless in an area set aside by the Council for camping (clause 10); or
* Put up a tent or structure of any kind in a reserve (clause 10).
Staff update to protestors:
Council staff this afternoon visited the protestors and passed out Council’s ‘No Fixed Abode’ booklet, which offers advice on emergency housing within Christchurch, as well as application forms for City Housing Council accommodation. There is a waiting list for this accommodation as a result of recent earthquakes. Staff explained the housing shortage to the campers and offered to continue to work with them to identify realistic options for anyone needing assistance as well as providing links to other agencies such as the Ministry of Social Development and the Salvation Army, if required. During today’s visit, protestors indicated to staff that they intended to leave the site this weekend.

Occupy protesters to be evicted “..The camp had a zero-tolerance policy on alcohol and substance abuse.. ‘Society’s problems have become Occupy’s problems, and we should not be blamed for that’.. the group wanted to work with the council to ‘keep it going as a peaceful protest’. Mayor Bob Parker thanked the group for stating its concerns ‘in a fair and dignified way’.. The council would not need to use force to make the protesters move on” The Press 22/3/12

Occupy protesters told to leave Christchurch park Radio New Zealand
The last Occupy Christchurch protesters will abandon their campsite in a city park by the end of the weekend. Christchurch City Council on Thursday decided to evict the campers from South Hagley Park. The protesters have been in South Hagley Park since October 2011 as part of the global Occupy movement.
A spokesperson for the Occupy group, Rik Tindall, says after learning of the council’s decision the remaining dozen campers met and agreed they would leave by Sunday. Mr Tindall says three council staff members visited the site Thursday and offered advice on alternative accommodation. He says the group have asked if there is another location they can move to, so they can stay together.
The Canterbury District Health Board, which complained that campers’ behaviour was causing issues at the nearby hospital, says it is looking forward to their moving on. Mr Tindall says with winter about to arrive the campers accept the park is not a great place to live, but without assistance many would not be able to find somewhere suitable to go.
Mayor Bob Parker said the council accepts the issue is essentially about homelessness, and has asked the appropriate social agencies to visit the camp to help people to find accommodation. However he said the occupation is illegal, and the campers will have to go.

"Councillor checks out Occupy campsite at Hagley park" - TV1 220312

"Councillor checks out Occupy campsite at Hagley park" - TV1 220312

Final Occupy camp cleared TV1 “..What you are seeing is a steady tidying of the camp. What you won’t see is any drama.’ The council has agreed to try to find alternative accommodation for the 16 people, some of whom are homeless”.

Occupy Chch to be gone by Saturday TV3 22 Mar 2012

Closing weekend at Occupy Corner
Media release: Occupy Christchurch
Date: 23 March 2012
Subject: Closing weekend at Occupy Corner
Occupy Christchurch thanks Christchurch city and its council, for the relative tolerance shown towards Occupy’s use of the eastern corner of South Hagley Park for political protest. Responsibility has always been taken by this movement, to right the wrongs of the world and improve humanity by challenging high housing costs in particular. Christchurch now suffers disproportionately in this regard due to earthquakes. For that reason and others – which every family goes through in a consumer culture – demand upon the protest camp over summer became unmanageable then toxic. Occupy Christchurch apologises to the Canterbury District Health Board and its staff and funders, for focusing street demand on public services in their vicinity, thus. However, we do not apologise for highlighting and trying to resolve such social pressures. We seek to work with local authorities to improve the conditions faced by outdoor residents, in ways that show all generations better ways of being.
Consequently, the decision has been taken to discontinue the Occupy Corner encampment.
The public is warmly invited to share in the learning of the Occupy democratic phenomenon, through our second Open Air University, this Sunday 25th March. A day of workshops is organised for Occupy Corner, starting at 10am and ending at 7pm. It is expected that the camp will be fully vacated the day before. Sunday will be for celebration, outreach and transition.
Open Air University schedule:
10am: General intro: Why are we here? – Facilitated by Occupy Christchurch.
11am: The Big Picture: 12 Necessary Transitions to an Open Future by John Veitch – Internet pioneer and Environmental and social activist.
12pm: The Food Bill by Steffan Browning – Green Party MP.
1pm: Fracking (Hydraulic fracturing) by Danielle O’Halloran.
2pm: Energy, economics and the environment by Akash Singh – Activist and business student.
3pm: Break.
6pm: Learning from Occupy: Challenges for the future by Dr Bronwyn Hayward – Senior lecturer in Social and political sciences at the University of Canterbury and author of a controversial forthcoming book “Children Citizenship and Environment: Nurturing a democratic imagination in a changing world” which looks at the issues of how to sustain democracy, social and environmental, in a world of growing child poverty, social inequality, and unstable, extractive economic growth.*
Wet weather venue for this program is the WEA at 59 Gloucester Street. Please self-cater as best you can – bring sandwiches, a drink and snacks e.g. This venue is where Occupy Christchurch General Assembly proceeds, each Monday at 7pm – an open meeting.
Kia Kaha Christchurch: we are glad to be part of this indomitable community.
Occupy Ōtautahi Christchurch