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Giant March For Nature Fills Queen Street To Oppose Luxon’s Fast Track Bill

Over 20,000 people have turned out in Auckland today for the March for Nature to protest the Luxon Government’s fast-track bill and ‘war on nature’. The march is leaving Aotea Square now for Britomart and is being live-streamed at greenpeace.nz/live

Organisers say the protest march is one of the biggest in recent history.

Greenpeace Aotearoa executive director Russel Norman says, "Today we stood for nature. People from far and wide, from across the political spectrum marched, shoulder to shoulder, with the shared conviction that we reject this Government’s attacks on nature, on our democracy and on Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

"Aotearoa has a long history of peaceful protest. From Whina Cooper’s Land March and the Springbok Tour to the hikoi against deep sea oil and the March Against Mining, time after time, we have marched - shoulder to shoulder - and changed the course of history.

"Today, we have done that again. Christopher Luxon must now take heed of the wishes of an overwhelming majority of New Zealanders, and throw the fast track bill in the bin.

"Here on Queen Street, we see thousands of people speaking up with a single voice, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. To ignore that would put this Government forever on the wrong side of history."

Forest and Bird chief executive Nicola Toki, told the march, "Today people from all walks of life across Aotearoa New Zealand have come together and have collectively given nature a voice. They have made it clear that they will not tolerate precious and endangered wildlife being condemned to extinction. They won’t watch native forests be destroyed, or let rivers, lakes and oceans be polluted. They will fight for what we share as New Zealanders because it’s in our nature. They will fight for what we love.

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"We have fought for te taiao nature before, and won. We care deeply because we know that nature is the foundation for everything. Nature is what makes us Kiwis. We can see a different future - one where our environment’s health protects us and lets us thrive in a climate-changed world. Where flourishing nature is our nation’s strength," Nicola Toki said.

Mana Rākau spokesperson Zane Wedding says, "The fast track will not only affect forests in far-off places it will be the weight that forever holds the door open to the continued decimation of urban ngāhere and the destruction of our urban lakes river and Moana. The continued destruction of indigenous whenua on which you are standing right now. Mihi ki ngā mana whenua teahi kāroa o tēnei rohe whenua.

"Our government is failing us. So we will protect the whenua. We will protect Te Tiriti With kotahitanga. We will protect our forests and our birds outside and inside urban spaces, we will empower the people and fight for Papatūānuku - and that’s a fight that never ends. Ka whawhai tonu mātou."

Communities Against the Fast-Track spokesperson Augusta Macassey-Pickard says, "This Bill would take away our right to have a say. Any say. And we have to fight that - fight for our right to be heard, the right to protect our children’s future, the right to say no to mining the seabed and conservation land, no to more damaging irrigation, no to more roads to nowhere and no more climate chaos. If this bill goes ahead we’ll all lose our voice.

"The vast majority of New Zealanders know that nature must be prioritised over industrial development. We do not want development if it causes more damage to nature, because we know that as we are part of nature, so too are we harmed when nature is harmed."

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