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GE Free Hikoi Update

GE FREE LAND MARCH
Media Update 7/10/01

GE Free Hikoi To Carry Banners From Auckland To Wellington Parliament

On Saturday, the GE Free Hikoi joined the activities around the National Day of Action in Auckland. The marchers were led up Queen Street by Whaea Dell Wihongi, who has been with the Hikoi all the way from the start.

The Hikoi which left Kaitaia on October 1st and aims to arrive in Parliament on October 31st, is carrying a strong message from the people against Genetic Engineering. The marchers are gathering support and banner signatures all along the way.

In her speech, Whaea Dell Wihongi pointed out that Tangata Whenua have been in opposition to Genetic Engineering for a long time. She referred to the Waitangi claim 262 which deals with Intellectual Property Rights to indigenous culture and endemic wildlife.
“It’s about the Intellectual Property Rights staying in Aotearoa and not being taken overseas. This is already happening, the rights to the song Po Kare Kare Ana are owned by an Australian company and our Tikis are manufactured in China. And overseas companies are experimenting with the genetic makeup of our trees and even our own blood line. We have to take back ownership of all this. Tangata Whenua and Europeans are united in this struggle.”

Referring to the presence of the mayoral candidates and their election placards at the protest, she adds: “We don’t need politicians to decide this, it’s the people that matter.”

After the speeches, the protesters joined up to wrap the town hall in banners which had been signed by thousands to voice their opposition to Genetic Engineering.

After the event, Jon Carapiet from the Auckland GE Free Coalition handed the banners over to Whaea Dell Wihongi, who accepted them on behalf of the Hikoi. The marchers will carry them to Wellington to present to parliament on the October 31.

“I will meet them at Parliament” said Green Party MP Jeanette Fitzsimmons in another speech at the meeting.

Rain did not deter wellwishers from the meeting walking with the Hikoi up Queen Street to their overnight accommodation at St Columbia Church.

The Path of the Hikoi

Monday, October 8th
10:30 a.m. The Hikoi starts in Pukekohe. Meeting point is the Woolworth’s car park on Seddon St. The march will go along SH22 to Tuakau (10 km).

2.30 p.m. Meeting point in Tuakau by the Good Life store.

4.00 p.m. Gathering at the Sharda Centre where the Hikoi will stay for the night.

The Hikoi will carry on through Hamilton where it is expected on October 11th and then on to Rotorua on October 14th.


Contact in Auckland (09) 361 2520, mgraf@ihug.co.nz or 025 604 5872 to contact the Hikoi directly.

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