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Ed Sheeran

Rain can't dampen hīkoi spirit

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Bouts of heavy rain are not dampening the spirits of about 150 marchers on a hīkoi from Ihumātao to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's Mount Albert constituency office.

The hīkoi intends to deliver a petition signed online by more than 26,000 people asking Ms Ardern to personally visit the site of the occupation so she can get a true sense of what’s at stake or appreciate why the whenua matters so much to so many people.

While the Government says it's standing back to allow the Kiingitanga to facilitate discussions aimed at reaching a solution acceptable to the mana whenua, protest leader Pania Newton from Save Our Unique says that's not enough.

"Well that's the crown's position, that's not ours. We are saying the crown at some stage has to take responsibility so whether she visits now or later makes no difference to us. We've invited her, the people have invited her, so I think she should come and visit," Ms Newton says.

The hīkoi crossed Mangere Bridge just after 10 this morning, and it's due to arrive at the constiuency office on New North Rd about 2pm.


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