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Parihaka Day Protest Targets Dairy, Gas And Fertiliser Factories

The Whareroa Fonterra Dairy factory, the Kapuni Ballance fertiliser factory and the Todd Energy gas plant were blockaded simultaneously this Parihaka Day, 5 November, by environmental, peace and social justice activists from across the country.

The three industries were targeted to show how the invasion of Parihaka in 1881, and the theft of millions of hectares of Maori land and resources across Aotearoa, was part of a global colonial project which has never ended, and now caused the global climate crisis and increasing social injustices.

“An estimated 5 million people die every year now from the effects of climate change. We are in the midst of the planet's largest mass species extinction as dwindling resources on this finite planet continue to be fought over, causing even further human casualties, inequality and misery,” said Catherine Cheung of Climate Justice Taranaki.

“Te tangata tōmua, te whenua tōmuri. Today in 1881, our tupuna put their bodies on the line to protect our whenua, as we are doing again here now,” said Bailey. “We need to protect not just our whenua but to protect the entire planet. The fossil fuel, fertiliser and agricultural export industries are Aotearoa’s biggest climate polluters. They cannot continue business as usual with a few tweaks like methane vaccines, offshore wind turbines and hydrogen fuel. That won’t cut emissions or fix any of the social injustices. Farms keep getting bigger while staff numbers plummet. The economics just don’t add up. We need urgent systemic change that provides for everyone’s needs and rapidly draws down carbon from the atmosphere”.

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“Before the invasion of Parihaka in 1881, about three thousand people lived together and grew kai in and around the pā. There was rich forest, wetlands, maara kai and healthy rivers and reefs, where now there is almost endless grassland that very few people can sustain a decent living on. We want those in our wider community to see that there is a much healthier and happier way to live that does not destroy our planet, if we ditch fossil fuels and dairy and give land back for reforestation and communities,” said Bailey.

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