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Hikoi Takutaimoana II - the second foreshore and seabed hikoi
Hikoi speakers urge Foreshore Bill fight

18 October 2004

Maori and Pakeha were urged to unite to fight the Foreshore and Seabed Bill by speakers at a Dunedin hikoi on Saturday.

The march, protesting the Government’s handling of the foreshore and seabed issue, attracted about 100 people as it travelled from the Rongo monument at the corner of Portsmouth Drive and Portobello Roadd to the Octagon.

Participant Taora McQueen Senior said the march was not only for Maori but for all New Zealanders.

"If the Government can take a written document like the Treaty of Waitangi and violate it like it’s doing right now, what is it going to be like in another 160 years for all New Zealanders?"

Greens MP Metiria Turei, who is a member of the parliamentary select committee considering the Foreshore and Seabed Bill, addressed the hikoi.

"We are honour-bound as Maori and Pakeha to fight against the continual destruction and annihilation of Maori in our own country."

Every person in New Zealand was affected by the Bill, which threatened to take away people’s civil rights, she said. "We must join together."

Her words were echoed by fellow speaker University of Otago Dean of Maori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies Prof Tania Ka’ai, who said a united effort was needed to oppose the Bill.

"We have a long history of activism, of fighting for our rights as indigenous people and fighting for the principles of the Treaty [of Waitangi]."

An organiser of the hikoi, Harley Kaihe-Katterns, said the event, which coincided with a similar hikoi in Auckland, was a success.

"We are happy with the turnout and we’ve had a lot of support from drivers."

It had been a peaceful event, he said.

Sergeant Keith Newell, of Dunedin, said the event went very smoothly.

Patched members of the rival Black Power and Mongrel Mob gangs walked side by side through the streets of Auckland city on Saturday in a hikoi against the Foreshore and Seabed Bill, NZPA reported.

It was a reflection of how deeply many Maori, including those involved in gangs, felt about the issue, marcher and Maori Party co-leader Dr Pita Sharples said.

About 30 gang members were among the estimated 6000 people who marched in another bid to pressure the Government into withdrawing the proposed legislation.

"It was great to see them all there, marching in peace," Dr Sharples said.

Rebecca Fox
Otago Daily Times

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