9 Feb 2015

Hikoi leader says attitudes changing

9:02 am on 9 February 2015

One of the hikoi leaders for a group of protesters at Waitangi says the treaty grounds are becoming much more understanding of their presence.

A Hikoi rallies outside the carved meeting house on Waitangi Treaty grounds.

A Hikoi rallies outside the carved meeting house on Waitangi Treaty grounds. Photo: RNZ / Lois Williams

A group of more than 300 hundred people were part of the annual hikoi to the top of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds on Friday.

Longtime activist Mike Smith helped lead a group of those protestors from Te Rerenga Wairua to Waitangi who were protesting against deep sea oil drilling in New Zealand.

The attitude towards protestors was changing but it had not always been like that, he said.

Mr Smith said over the years more and more people realised the issues that various movements had carried had a purpose and understood the role they could play in a democratic society.

There was a new generation of leaders, some of who were not threatened by protests and supported the issues hikoi were articulating, he said.

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