Tuesday, 15 March 2011
by Vaughan Gunson
Around 50 people took part in Hikoi Takutai Moana when it passed through Whangarei today. Hikoi participants walked a few kilometres down the main street, before getting back in their vehicles and on the road to Wellsford.
The hikoi will be marching along Queen Street tomorrow (Wednesday) at 11am. Then travelling through a number of North Island centres before finishing at parliament in Wellington on Tuesday 22 March.
To see the hikoi itinerary, plus other details, go to the Hikoi Roopu Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001978947880&ref=ts. Or contact Hikoi organiser Reuben Taipari (027) 200 1840.
A lot of the korero in Whangarei was about how the National-led government's Marine and Coastal Bill (supported by the Maori Party) is designed to make it easy for the government to approve ecologically dangerous oil drilling and mining of New Zealand's foreshore and seabed. One of the main messages of the hikoi is that we need to protect Papatūānuku.
While denying flaxroots Maori any rights over the management of the foreshore & seabed, the bill allows any government to rubber stamp commercial exploitation of marine resources, to the benefit of a corporate elite (here & overseas), not the majority of New Zealanders. It's not about keeping the seabed and foreshore in "public hands". Short term commercial interests, rather than sustainability and care for the environment, has always been the outcome of the New Zealand state doing what's best for private capital.
Hikoi Takutai Moana should be supported by all grassroots New Zealanders. As this is a struggle against corporate control of our land and people.