Kia ora to Ngati Whatua, Ihiaotearoa, and all the organisers of yesterday’s hikoi for showing leadership. The hikoi was a good natured, vibrant show of people power. Ostensibly a demonstration against the Government’s rejection of the Royal Commission’s recommendations for Maori representation on the new Auckland Council, the Maori organisers generously welcomed all those concerned about the Government’s anti-democratic super city model. In doing so, they united a rainbow coalition of iwi, the Mayors, countless community groups and concerned citizens, along with the Maori Party, the Greens and Labour. Even conservative pundit Bill Ralston despairs of the Government provoking such a coalition.
Key and Hide downplayed the hikoi, with Key wishing Maori would just make a submission to the select committee. Hopefully they will do that too, but he misses the point. Yesterday’s demonstration of people power was a healthy indicator of political engagement in our democracy by Maori and non-Maori alike. It was Aucklanders concerned about their communities, and wanting a say in their future. The exact opposite of Key and Hide’s corporate takeover of Auckland democracy.