Singer Stan Walker has shown his support for the demonstrators gathered at Ihumātao with a speech and singing performance at the site last night.
A video posted to Facebook around 10pm on Thursday night showed people gathered at Ihumātao listening to Walker.
“To be here tonight, to be a part of this means so much to me because even though I do what I do, who am I to win if my people don’t. If my people ain’t winning I ain’t winning, but if my people are winning I’ve won and we’re going to do that whānau. We’re going to do that,” he said.
Before Walker started singing he also called for the prime minister to show her support.
“Jacinda, I hope that you hear our cry, hear our plea that you will get involved,” he said.
“We're going to make more noise until Aunty Jacinda walks down here herself.”
Source: Facebook, NRG Rising
His advice for the kaitiaki camping overnight was to “hold on to hope”.
“If I could say anything- hold on to hope even if you feel like it’s the end. Even if you feel like there’s no hope left," he said.
“You can’t give up whānau, you can’t give up. Keep going hard, keep doing it together. We’ve been heard throughout the whole of Aotearoa. We’ve been heard throughout the world and we’re coming together. The fact that you’re here means a lot, not just to Ihumātao but for Aotearoa, to the Pacific, for indigenous people. We’re setting the standard tonight, we’re going to break ground tonight, we’re going to make a noise so that Aunty Jacinda gets involved.”
Walker also thanked the police officers who are on sight working to keep the peace.
“I just want to do a mihi to all the police officers on duty. I know this is your duty, this is your job but this is tāngata whenua, this is the people and I hope that you understand that," he said.
“This is bigger than us. This is bigger than you. This is bigger than me and this is all our issue.”
Hundreds more people are expected to visit the site today to show their support.