19 Aug 2019

Hikoi to Mt Albert, petition to urge PM Jacinda Ardern to visit Ihumātao

3:35 pm on 19 August 2019

Protesters occupying land at Ihumātao will begin a four-hour hikoi to Mt Albert on Thursday to present a petition calling on the Prime Minister to visit the land.

Prime MInister Jacinda Ardern at Parliament 21 May 2019.

Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

More than 100 people continue to occupy the South Auckland site to oppose a new housing development there.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is yet to visit Ihumātao, despite repeated invitations from the protest group SOUL.

The hikoi will start from Ihumātao on Thursday morning and end at the Prime Minister's constituency office at Mt Albert in the early afternoon.

In a post on social media, SOUL said they wanted Ms Ardern to walk on the land and understand what was at stake.

"It's been three weeks since we invited Jacinda to visit Ihumātao and to walk amongst the whenua with her people.

"We are inviting her to visit the whenua to see and feel for herself the tremendous importance of this landscape and to get a true understanding of historic and continued injustices to the people of Ihumātao and to all peoples of Aotearoa.

"By visiting Ihumātao she is not jeopardising the current conversations, she will only reinforce the Government's 'good will' to help resolve the issue."

The petition has been signed by more than 20,000 people.

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