Taurangatira marks final leaving point for oil drilling protesters

By Harata Brown

Here on the day in which the Treaty of Waitangi was signed, the trek was made by the protesting group, opposing Oil Drilling and Toxic Mining, which started from Te Rerenga Wairua and ended in Waitangi. Although the Prime Minister invited one speaker from the group to Wellington to discuss issues around their exploration schedule, their response resonated in the final leg today.

Each year, many political issues are discussed here at this forum, which stands at Taurangatira, Waitangi.

Although rain fell, Taurangatira was the final leaving point for the hīkoi, which opposes oil exploration and toxic mining, for the betterment of the environment, for the next generation.

From Cape Reinga, to Waitangi, to the Meeting House of Ngapuhi, this is the final leg of the hīkoi. The Prime Minister invited a member of the group to discuss oil exploration with him, and if proven wrong, he will consider making changes.

Many people, different environmental groups and more participated, and one walker said today that they are protectors not protestors.

Oil Company Anadarko has pulled out of exploratory plans in the Taranaki Basin. Talks of unity and a united front were addressed today and some say may see the tide turn for oil company Statoil, who's been granted a 15 year permit to examine oil in the Te Reinga Basin.