Thursday December 14, 2017   Last updated 02:06AM

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Taranaki tangata whenua backing oil protests
UMA Broadcasting Ltd

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Organisers of protests against this week's Petroleum Conference in New Plymouth have welcomed the strong support they received from Taranaki Maori.

Training in non-violent action at Owae Marae prepared activists for yesterday's blockage which kept many delegates out of the venue for the start of the conference,.

Climate action advocate Mike Smith says past surveys have shown an overwhelming majority of Maori are opposed to oil and gas exploration in their rohe or in the waters off their coasts.

That was reflected in the way Taranaki leaders put their bodies on the line.

"North Taranaki leader Haumoana White came down and sat on the picket line. It was amazing to see Ruakere Hond sitting there blocking the doorways - he's a national treasure that man, and he doesn't go out and do thing willy nilly without good reason so it was great to have his support," Mr Smith says.

The Patea Maori Club was booked to perform by conference organisers, but cancelled when they discovered who the audience would be.


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