Waikato University Occupation 1999

   |   Meeting place / Huihuinga   |   Moving Image   |   

When student fees were about to go up again in 1999 there was widespread outrage — a generation of politicians had received the benefits of a free education but were now touting the ideology of user pays.

Organised by Joe Carolyn, Heather Lyall and the FIGHTBACK! Movement, the occupation of the administration building of the University of Waikato was well organised and peaceful. Maybe if it had had burning cars and barricades it would’ve made the six o’clock news, but then nobody would’ve brought along their kids and playing hacky sack would’ve been too hard. It ran for about five days and was fed by donations from the wider community. Eventually everyone went home because they wanted to get on with their lives, and those floors were pretty damn hard.


David Cook
David Cook


I come from a background of professional studio and museum photography. My personal work involves long-term social documentary projects, resulting in publications and exhibitions.

'Lake of Coal: the Disappearance of a Mining Township' was a finalist in the 2007 Montana NZ Book Awards.