25 Feb 2014

Maori movement to protest Australian laws

8:32 pm on 25 February 2014

A Maori rights movement based in Australia will be holding peaceful rallies in five major cities on Wednesday to raise awareness of what they describe as unjust laws which discriminate against New Zealanders.

Iwi in Aus campaign leader Erina Anderson, of Ngapuhi, says legislation passed in 2001 bars New Zealanders - a significant number of them Maori - from getting social services, access to higher education, disability, justice, mental health and housing services.

Public rallies will be held in Adelaide, Sydney, Perth, the Gold Coast and Melbourne.

As well as the five major cities, the small rural town of Albany, in Western Australia, is holding a peaceful demonstration.

Albany, southeast of Perth, is a significant town historically for both Australia and New Zealand as it is the last port where Anzac soldiers sailed from to fight in the war.

Ms Anderson says the township is being done up ahead of next year's celebrations marking 100 years since Anzac troops landed at Gallipoli, in Turkey.

The Australian Federal Government may not be too happy about seeing protesters outside the town's Anzac Peace Park holding banners saying Give New Zealanders a Fair Go in Australia, she says.