Celebration to mark Manapouri protests

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The 50th anniversary of the Manapouri dam protests will be marked with an anniversary celebration this Sunday at the Fiordland Community Centre.

Former protesters will be speaking about the event and a range of memorabilia including photos and petition forms will be on display.

Mossburn resident Jenny Campbell is co-organising the event with Sir Alan Mark.

Mrs Campbell remembered how people successfully united to protest the government’s plan to raise Lake Manapouri by 30m.

“I was totally opposed,” she said.

“I signed the petition against it and I said

Mrs Campbell said she was one of 264,000 people who did.

“It changed the government,” she said.

“The people making the decision were in Wellington. Most had never even been down here.

“They made these plans without consulting anyone, and that made people angry.”

There was a lot of enthusiasm about the anniversary from those involved and their descendants, Mrs Campbell said.

“The people of New Zealand rose up.

“It is really important for young people to hear these stories.”

Sir Alan and John Moore will speak at the event.

They both were original Guardians of Lake Manapouri, Monowai and Te Anau, appointed by then prime minister Norman Kirk in the 1970s as part of the response to the protests, Mrs Campbell said.

A copy of the out-of-print book Manapouri Saved will be raffled on the day.

Entry is by koha and tea and biscuits will be served.

“Everyone is welcome to attend.”