INDEPENDENT NEWS

GE Free Land March " Hikoi"

Published: Mon 1 Oct 2001 12:14 AM
Hundreds take first steps in Hikoi towards a GE-Free Aotearoa /New Zealand,
Hundreds of people are expected to come and support the start of the GE Free Land March in Kaitaia on Monday, 1 October at 10 am, as it begins its journey to Parliament.
The march, or Hikoi, has been organised with the support of the GE Free Coalition in Auckland, and will emphasise the concern amongst tangata whenua and all New Zealanders. The Hikoi will give people in rural areas an opportunity to join the growing GE-free movement and is calling for a complete ban on GE. “The implication of GE are horrific for Tangata Whenua, as they affect our Whakapapa and taonga. This is just another sign that our Mana is being trampled on by multi-national companies who have no respect for indigenous peoples” says organiser Kei Munro.
Concerned people from all over the country have shown their support for the Hikoi. For example, GE-Free food has been donated by organic growers and companies to feed the marchers.
“Collectively we all have the responsibiity to protect this country and our future generations. We are the ancestors of the future, we are called to act for our children and our children’s children.” Says Mary Dwen for GE Free NZ.
While much of the distance will be walked by the whole group, some stretches will be covered by relay runners. Along the way the Hikoi will collect signatures on large banners from people opposing GE, which will be used to wrap the Auckland town hall and the Beehive.
“We are expecting to have enough signed banners to wrap the Beehive on the 31 October“ says Kane Forbes, one of the organisers.
The Hikoi will carry a specially made flag, the ‘Tohu’, on its way to Wellington. The Tohu symbolises the seeds of life . Ana Kerehoma Ripia(Ngati Kahunganu)was the artist who designed the artwork.
The Tohu will be blessed at Te Rerenga Wairua (Cape Reinga) on Sunday and carried to Kaitaia .
The Path of the Hikoi
On Monday, the march will be making its way south on SH 1 via Mangamuka, Whakapara, Whangarei, Kaiwaka, and Orewa to arrive in Devonport -Auckland's North Shore- on the Friday 5 October.
Here the Tohu will be carried across the harbour by the Pupuke Moana Club. The waka flotilla will be leaving Devonport at 3 pm and arriving at the Viaduct at 4 pm and will be welcomed there.
On 6 October, the National Day of Action of the GE Free movement, the Hikoi will march from QE II Square at 11 am to join the wrapping of the Town Hall at noon.
On 7 October the GE Free Land March will continue south via Hamilton, Rotorua, Taupo, Palmerston North to Wellington.
Ends

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