Minto in court over police obstruction

CHARLES ANDERSON
Last updated 11:58 14/05/2012
john minto
GRAHAME COX / Fairfax NZ
JOHN MINTO: National chairman of the Quality Public Education Coalition.

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Mana Party vice president John Minto has appeared in court on two charges of obstructing police during protests against the removal of state houses from Glen Innes.

"I know there will be people who think - there goes Minto causing trouble again - but the truth is the police specifically targeted me for arrest each time," Minto said in a statement.

"The most recent being last Thursday."

Protests over house removals in Glen Innes turned violent again last week when a man was knocked unconscious prompting accusations police used "quasi-military tactics".

Police and protesters have repeatedly clashed over the Tamaki Transformation Programme which involves Housing New Zealand moving 40 state houses from Glen Innes and Redeveloping 156 houses to create 260 new homes.

About 100 protesters, who tried to stop the removal of a house on Lyndhurst St, were moved 500m down Taniwha St away from the site by about 50 police.

Veteran protester Jimmy O'Dae, aged in his 70s, confronted three officers and was knocked out after hitting his head on a curb, Unite Union campaign organiser Joe Carolan said.

A police spokeswoman said O'Dae was walking backwards and fell.
Minto said he had not received a conviction in 20 years but in the last three weeks he had been the victim of " gratuitous arrests". In one case he received fractured ribs, he said.

His case has been adjourned until August 11 when there will be a defended hearing.

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- Auckland Now

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