London to Gaza
Six New Zealanders, calling themselves the “Kia Ora Gaza” team, will make up part of an aid convoy taking humanitarian assistance to Gaza departing from London on September 18. Queen’s Service Medal recipient, Aucklander Roger Fowler, 61, is the manager of the Mangere East Community Learning and the “captain” of the New Zealand contingent. It also includes his London-based son, Hone, 25, photojournalist Chris Van Ryn, 5, electrician Pat O’Dea, 51, trainee teacher Mousa Taher, 23, and journalist Julie Webb-Pullman, 57. Fowler said the six were spurred by the deaths of nine Turks when Israeli troops intercepted a Gaza-bound humanitarian flotilla on May 31. “People around the world, including here in New Zealand, were absolutely outraged at that,” Fowler said. He said they represented a cross-section of New Zealanders. They would drive three trucks nearly 4km from London to Gaza, taking up to a month.