Nationwide h¯ıkoi protest 1080 use
Hı¯koi which began at opposite ends of the country to protest the Government’s use of 1080 plan a peaceful protest at Parliament when they meet in six weeks’ time.
West Coast resident Allan Gurden said he and friend Emille Leaf made a pact to march the length of New Zealand after the last 1080 drop on the West Coast to raise awareness of ‘‘the Government’s systematic poisoning of our country’’.
Gurden began his ‘‘Hı¯koi of a Poisoned Nation’’ with fellow West Coasters Unuru Murphy, Phil Peterson and Joe Kanara in Bluff last Friday, while Leaf left Cape Reinga on Thursday.
About 20 people began the walk north from Bluff but only three were marching when the hikoi arrived in Gore yesterday.
‘‘It’s a bit of an organic thing, people are walking with us for an hour or a day or whatever they can manage, Gurden said.
‘‘We’ve had a heap of support on the way. It’s not just a bunch of dirty hippies worried about this. Heaps of truckies have honked their support and we’ve been joined by a guy in his 70s who’s had two hip replacements, and a doctor.’’
The Department of Conservation uses 1080 to control predators in native forests.