The Māori Party wishes all those taking part in the Hīkoi Wai Tapu from Tūrangi to Wellington a safe journey.
Marchers including tamariki and whānau from Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Whakarewa i te Reo ki Tūwharetoa will depart Tūrangi at 6am tomorrow to raise awareness about the Chose Clean Water petition.
The Choose Clean Water campaign aims to change the minimum standard for freshwater raised from “wadeable” to “swimmable”. To date, they have collected more than 11,000 signatures.
“It’s great to see tamariki and whānau get behind this issue. They want to see waterways like Lake Taupō-nui-a-tia in a much better state for present and future generations,” says Māori Party Co-leader and Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell.
“Our party’s policy on water – Te Mana o Te Wai – is in line with what this Hīkoi Wai Tapu is fighting for. The Māori Party policy is that we should aim to restore our freshwater so that it is safe to drink, swim in and collect kai from it.”
Māori Party Co-leader Marama Fox says 60 percent of rivers fail the health standards for swimming because of rising levels of algae, nitrogen and phosphate.
“We would like to see more ambitious targets set for the quality of our water. Te Mana o Te Wai is about restoring the health and mauri (quality and vitality) of water for the benefit of our people and the environment,” says Mrs Fox.
Mr Flavell wishes the whānau and the campaigners a safe journey to Wellington and encourages people to sign the petition. He looks forward to receiving the Choose Clean Water petition along with other MPs next Tuesday.
“Mā te Atua rātou hei tiaiki, hei manaaki i runga i tēnei Hīkoi Wai Tapu.”