June 11, 2021, 8:19 p.m.
Hundreds of marchers, young and old, holding placards and flags made their way to the Far North District Council Headquarters in Kaikohe today. Their voices joining in unison with chants and waiata, protesting the proposed Significant Natural Areas policy. But it was two signs that captured a thread that was woven throughout the day, "We March For Our Mokopuna" and "I Need To Be Able To Tell My Child I Did Not Stay Silent". The thread across the generations was made more real as Hinerangi Cooper-Puru spoke, 46 years after her 79-year-old mother, Dame Whina Cooper, led a hīkoi to Parliament to address Māori land issues. She spoke directly to a new generation of Māori politician that waited to listen and receive the submissions. "As a Māori councillor, obviously, I wanted to be on the hīkoi today and my heart was on the hīkoi today. But I also believe in responsibility and culpability, and as a Council, we got this wrong so I'm fronting up to that so are the other elected members" said Cr Moko Tepania. Watch the video above to hear Hinerangi Cooper Puru address the Council.