February 07, 2014
Turei backs hikoi tactics
Greens co-leader Metiria Turei has defended the tradition of protest at Waitangi.
Ms Turei spoke in the meeting house at the lower Waitangi marae during the powhiri for Opposition parties, touching on child poverty; protecting the moana from deep sea oil drilling; warm healthy homes; and honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
Earlier, Mana president Annette Sykes spoke on the marae atea during the welcome for the hikoi opposing deep sea drilling.
That powhiri, which delayed the entry of Prime Minister John Key onto the marae for almost two hours, angered some observers,
But Ms Turei says such protests are often the only way to get Government to listen.
"What we’ve seen in the last week with the attacks on me is even if you dress in a suit and go to parliament and tell them to their face that what they are doing is wrong, they refuse to listen to you and attack you. People who do not have the same opportunity I do have few choices about how they get their message across and protesting at Waitangi, protesting anywhere, is one of those genuine legitimate options because politicians won’t listen," she says.
One of the hikoi spokespeople, Joel Bristow of Ngapuhi, was invited by John Key to Wellington to test his contentions with officials and ministers.
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