INDEPENDENT NEWS

GE Free Hikoi

Published: Tue 23 Oct 2001 11:21 AM
Hundreds will arrive in Wellington to support the final stages of the GE Free Hikoi at the end of the month.
The march, or Hikoi, has been organised with the support of the GE Free Coalition and tangata whenua (people of the land)throughout Aotearoa. The Hikoi has given people in rural areas an opportunity to join the growing GE-free movement and is calling for a complete ban on GE. "We have been listening to our people as we travel south and it is very clear that our kaumatua want a GE-free Aotearoa," Says organiser Kei Munro.
Momentum and interest is building as support groups organise themselves to rally with the hikoi at the Te Tapu Te Ranga Marae in Island Bay early in the evening of the 30th October. The Maori MPs will be invited to the marae to share in the rhetoric surrounding the issues. At present, the Labour Maori caucus, have expressed their opposition for any decision to relax current restrictions on field trials and the commercial release of genetically modified crops.
"It is hoped that the Maori MPs and the Green Party continue their pressure on government and it must be emphasised that we, the tangata whenua who support this hikoi, will vote for those who promote a totally GE-free Aotearoa. The government has a responsibility to protect the taonga of their Treaty partner," Says Dell Wihongi, a niece to Dame Awhina Cooper and kaumatua supporting the hikoi.
The protest group will leave the Basin Reserve in Wellington at 11am on Wednesday the 31st to march through to Pigeon Park, where the Land March of 1975 rallied, then on to Parliament to present banners signed by thousands throughout the country.
Ends

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