Self-proclaimed activists who stormed Auckland office to stay in jail

Maori land rights protestor John Wanoa appeared in Auckland District Court
LAURA WALTERS/FAIRFAX NZ

Maori land rights protestor John Wanoa appeared in Auckland District Court

Two self-proclaimed Maori land activists who stormed an Auckland office forcing workers out will remain in jail until Monday despite their heated pleas to be released. 

Hoani Kahaki Wanoa, also known as John Wanoa, 66, and John Murray Monga, 50, appeared in the dock of Auckland District Court on Saturday, both facing a charge of forcing entry with the intention of taking possession of the property in a way that breached the peace.

The two men were arrested on Friday and charged with trespassing, assault and forcing entry.

John Monga appeared after Wanoa on the same charge. he also represented himself.
LAURA WALTERS/FAIRFAX NZ

John Monga appeared after Wanoa on the same charge. he also represented himself.

They were part of a group of men who stormed the office of Tournament Group at Auckland's City Works Depot on Monday, forcing staff out and barricading themselves inside.

Police said they were still searching for people in relation to the incident and further arrests were likely.

READ MORE: Two people charged with assault and trespass after office occupation

The men, both from South Auckland, represented themselves before a Justice of the Peace on Saturday.

Wanoa, a self-proclaimed activist, used his time in court to passionately proclaim that his rights had been breached.

Monga said he opposed the TPPA trade agreement and did not believe New Zealand should be selling land to foreigners.

The Justice of the Peace reminded the men the court appearance was not the forum to solve political matters and had to stop both men from continuing with their claims of breaches of freedom.

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Police prosecutor Helen Lotriet said she opposed the men's bail applications.

The Justice of the Peace said there was concern for the safety of the officer workers who were targeted on Monday and bail would not be granted.

On Friday, Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Marcia Murray said it was a traumatic ordeal for affected staff.

Police did not want people taking the law into their own hands to resolve perceived grievances, she said.

"No one has a right to enter a building, remove people and illegally lay claim to an area."

The group of alleged offenders recorded themselves raiding the office of parking company Tournament Group.

Wanoa uploaded the video onto his YouTube account.

In the video a group of men wearing shirts saying federal marshal push the staff out. 

The group tell employees of Tournament Group: "You gotta move". 

A staff member who wouldn't move and says "leave me alone" is seen being pulled from his chair. 

Tournament Group have declined to comment on the incident.

City Works Depot is one of Auckland's newest precinct developments and hosts restaurants, craft beer bars, florists and business offices.

Tenants include The Food Truck Garage, Dry and Tea and Best Ugly Bagels.

Both men would appear in court again on Monday morning.

 - Stuff

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