Sunday, 24 May 2009

Diary: Hikoi this, Hikoi that

NZ Herald:

The Aucklander:

I raced down to the meeting point (at the bottom of Queen Street, CBD (where the Downtown fountain used to be). I was worried that I had missed the event but I was reassured when I saw the Tino Rangatiratanga flag being carried down Queen St.

I navigated my way past traffic, police people, police cars, idle construction workers, hikoi watchers. I found a nice quiet spot just by the traffic intersection, and almost where the fountain used to be (except it has been demolished, and paved, and at that moment very very full of motivated hikoi attendees).

The sky was clouded, dull silver, and portentous. The crowd sprouted umbrellas, and some green balloons floated above our heads. The raucus chants, slogans, songs and chatter was interspersed with the thudding of the helicopters overhead. It was sorta quiet around me as I had inadvertently sidled up to a deaf group.

I couldn't twiddle my thumbs as my right hand was preoccupied managing my umbrella. I waited. And waited. And waited. 12 noon was the start of the actual walk up Queen Street. I spotted Flag of the United Tribes of New Zealand. I waited. The start was unpretentious (from my view). Something happened. There was movement. I could walk forward. I walked forward.

The group stopped and started. And stopped and started. Like a traffic jam, but without cars. And no complaints. With loudhailers.

Most people around me wanted "Maori seats!" and wanted them "Now!".

I did get to talk to a fellow (from the North Shore) who believed the whole Super City gig was an asset grab by Central Auckland mayor John Banks ex-National MP and Rodney Hide MP of the ACT stripe.

A Maori lady was concerned about the lack of detail for the poorer income districts.

Fiona Jack was spotted. And Brett Graham. There were many other people whom I couldn't name by sight.

I walked, and walked, and walked in fits and starts until until I finally finally reached the Town Hall and was greeted with a speech and song.

But then I had to leave the crowd so that I could get back to the office in the time I had for my lunch break.

p.s. World Towel Day 25 May - Do you know where your towel is?

[edited 26 May 09]

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