Foot­ball club helps protest land de­vel­op­ment

Central Leader - - SPORT - SAMHEWAT

An Auck­land foot­ball club is show­ing its sup­port for a group fight­ing a con­tro­ver­sial hous­ing de­vel­op­ment in south Auck­land.

One­hunga-Man­gere United wore warm up shirts with the words ‘‘Pro­tect Ihu­matao’’ be­fore their North­ern Re­gional Foot­ball League match against Wai­heke United last Tues­day.

The club showed its sol­i­dar­ity for the Save Our Unique Land­scape (SOUL) cam­paign which is seek­ing to stop the de­vel­op­ment of 480 houses near the Otu­ataua Stone­fields His­tor­i­cal Re­serve in Man­gere.

While One­hunga-Man­gere United doesn’t have any direct ties with the cam­paign, head coach John Ben­nett said he re­alised its im­por­tance to the com­mu­nity and knew the club had a role to play.

‘‘We’re very well known as a fam­ily club,’’ Ben­nett said.

‘‘We’re very tight with our com­mu­nity. Our guys weren’t forced to wear the shirts, they were all be­hind it.

Re­becca Hobbs, a mem­ber of SOUL, said the con­tin­ual sup­port from lo­cal com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions helped to keep the cam­paign go­ing.

‘‘When the com­mu­nity ex­presses sup­port for our cam­paign, it is re­ally mo­ti­vat­ing. It al­lows us to say that many mem­bers of the com­mu­nity have shared goals and in­ter­ests in pro­tect­ing these com­mu­nity spa­ces.’’

SUP­PLIED

One­hunga-Man­gere United’s premier men’s foot­ball team wear warm-up shirts with the words ‘‘Pro­tect Ihu­matao’’.

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