Hikoi Standoff: Parliament Comes To Standstill
Parliament has come to a virtual standstill after over 10,000 people occupied Parliament grounds today. The Hikoi, now camping down on Parliament’s grounds, is protesting against the Government’s proposed seabed and foreshore legislation.
Parliament's usuall steam of press statements has reduced to a trickle as staff and MPs decide what stance or stand they will make on the gathering, massive, protest movement.
Scoop’s co-editor Alastair Thompson is on the scene and reports Members of Parliament representing all parties can be seen standing on the steps of Parliament: “New Zealand First and ACT has a fairly large contingent of MPs. As do the Green Party.
“I can see New Zealand First Ron Mark and Peter Brown. ACT’s Rodney Hide. Green MPs holding a banner that says ‘Honour The Treaty’. Labour’s Mark Gosche and Clayton Cosgrove could also be seen in the crowd,” Alastair Thompson said.
New Zealand Prime minister Helen Clark refuses to meet members of the Hikoi referring to some members of the protest movement as "haters and wreckers".
Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen told Radio New Zealand this morning that he would meet with a delegation from the Hikoi. Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia also said he would address the Hikoi from Parliament’s front steps.