March against Statoil deep sea oil drilling reaches Dargaville

By Dean Nathan

People of Northland, rise up!  That’s the chant of a hīkoi that started in Cape Reinga in protest of the government giving Statoil a licence to deep sea oil drill on the west coast. 

Today it became apparent that the hīkoi has gained much wider support from across nation.

Pakeha and Māori from all over came together to support a hīkoi calling for the seabed to be left in its natural state.

Raniera Poihipi (Te Whānau ā Apanui) says, “Today we march in unison and link to the people of Northland having started our hīkoi in Ngāti Kurī and down through Te Rarawa, and now in Ngāti Whātua on our way to Auckland.”

This summer, Statoil intends on using sonar explosions to penetrate the west coast seabed to find oil.  However it’s now known that when a failure happens at such depths, it can be catastrophic.

Hine Kaamako says, “We march as one to inform the people living in this district of the danger that Statoil poses by drilling 20km off the coast here.  So that Pākehā and Māori and everyone here know that the tribes of Muriwhenua are opposed to Statoil and will never agree to the seabed being drilled so leave it.”

At midday tomorrow, this hīkoi will leave from Britomart in downtown Auckland for Skycity where they will protest before the hundreds of delegates in attendance at the Oil Conference hosted by Statoil.

“We should send our taniwha to intervene so that the project doesn’t go ahead because that’s our food cupboard and it’s our children that will be bear the brunt of it,” says Raniera.

This afternoon, the hīkoi arrives at Hoani Waititi Marae in West Auckland where they will stay the night.