Ban goes to court

Central Leader - - News -

The Falun Dafa As­so­ci­a­tion is head­ing to court af­ter be­ing banned from Auck­land’s Santa pa­rade.

The group filed pa­pers at the High Court on Wed­nes­day to seek a ju­di­cial re­view of the Auck­land Chil­dren’s Christ­mas Pa­rade Trust’s de­ci­sion. As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent John Yu says they re­gret hav­ing to take the action.

“We have ap­plied for seven or eight years but had no good re­sponse from the trust,” he says.

“We want to be friends here in New Zealand and the court is not a good place to be friendly but we have no choice.”

The group’s march­ing band has taken part in sev­eral other pa­rades around the coun­try, and has agreed not to dis­trib­ute any po­lit­i­cal ma­te­rial.

The trust says the Santa pa­rade is a “pol­i­tics-free zone”.

In a writ­ten state­ment, it says Falun Dafa’s ap­pli­ca­tion was de­clined be­cause the or­gan­i­sa­tion pur­sues po­lit­i­cal ends and doesn’t fit with the spirit of the Christ­mas pa­rade.

“We are not pre­pared to have this fun fam­ily oc­ca­sion hi­jacked by other or­gan­i­sa­tions and their agen­das,” the trust says.

Photo: STEPHEN JAQUIERY

Shrek the sheep: His fleece is be­ing shorn this Sun­day for char­ity.

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