20 Apr 2012

Hauturu protest a last resort, say Ngati Wai

9:15 am on 20 April 2012

A group of iwi members protesting against the inclusion of Hauturu (Little Barrier Island) in a hapu's Treaty settlement say they are demonstrating as a last resort.

A noisy hikoi by some Ngati Wai people on the streets of Whangarei on Thursday was aimed at sending a message to the Crown that they want their say on the future of the island.

Under planned legislation, the subtribe Ngati Manuhiri will accept the island for seven days before returning most of the land to the Crown.

But a ropu or group of Ngati Wai members say their iwi's interests in Hauturu are being ignored.

One of the protesters, Michael Leuluai, says he marched because behind-the-scenes diplomacy isn't working.

He says his people have tried to keep the issue in-house and not hang out dirty laundry, but that has not worked.