Poverty group parties in protest

LAURA WALTERS
Last updated 21:03 05/04/2014
Young Nats ball
DAVID WHITE/Fairfax NZ

NOT CELEBRATING: Protesters heckle as the Young Nats ball kicks off.

AAAP protest Nats Ball
DAVID WHITE/Fairfax NZ
ON HIGH: Ball attendees look on from Auckland's Rendezvous Grand Hotel.

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A face off between classes is taking place in Auckland tonight, with Auckland Action Against Poverty staging a protest outside the Young Nats' ball.

Auckland Action Against Poverty (AAAP) held a block party outside the Young Nationals ball at the Rendezvous Grand Hotel in Auckland this evening in protest to the treatment of New Zealand's poor.

About 100 protestors stood outside the entry to the hotel, jeering at Minister of Social Development Paula Bennettt when she arrived in a silver BMW.

Bennett was MC for the ball for the youth political organisation.
 
Activist and former MP Sue Bradford led the anti-National chants at the protest.

Bradford said the Government was intimidating the poor.

"We're letting the Young Nats, Paula Bennett and John Key know how we feel about what they are doing for beneficiaries."

About 10 police were present and acted as a barrier as protestors attempted to follow Bennett as she drove up to the hotel entrance.

AAAP spokeswoman Nadia Abu-Shanab said the objective of the party was to show National's policies did affect people.
 
The AAAP event included live music from Auckland and Wellington bands.

Abu-Shanab said tickets to the ball cost $100. 

"The sad fact is, that's more than many of us in New Zealand have left after paying rent and power. This is the harsh reality of being a low-paid worker or beneficiary living under National."

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