Kia kaha! Kia toa! Kia manawanui!

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Just a part of the huge crowd outside Parliament.

by Martin Gregory

 

On my way into Wellington this morning I wondered how many primary teachers and principals would heed their union’s call to take part in the area march and rally at Parliament, and how many would take the opportunity for a well-deserved day of relaxation. I need not have worried about the level of commitment, the turnout was huge. Stuff reports over 4,000, and I can believe it. Before marching to Parliament the union held a mass meeting in the Westpac Stadium. Two alternatives for further action were put to the members. The first was a programme of rolling strikes, area by area; this was received coolly. The second plan was far better, a national two-day strike; this was received rapturously. Support in the union ranks for the campaign is unmistakable.

 

The march had a joyous carnival atmosphere, similar to the mood at recent actions by the health workers and government staff at the Inland Revenue and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. All the teachers carried something: either a union ‘Kua tae te wā – It’s time’ placard or a home-made sign or banner.

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