'Expect resistance' anti -TPP hikoi warns Government ahead of signing

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Anti-TPP protesters making a colourful hikoi from Northland to Auckland are warning the Government it'll have a fight on its hands if it doesn't listen to them.

Protester at anti-TPPA march from Whangarei to Auckland warns government they have a fight on their hands.
Source: 1 NEWS

The marchers set off in the Far North on Monday and arrived in Whangarei today where they rallied on the city's central mall.

They'll join more than 10,000 protesters expected in central Auckland tomorrow to oppose the signing of the Trans Pacific Partnership free trade agreement by trade ministers from 12 TPP nations.

"What are we gonna do? Stand up, fight back," was the message from the marchers in Whangarei.

Protestors in Whangarei shout out in unity against the signing of the TPPA.
Source: 1 NEWS

One of them, Buchanan Cullen, described the TPP protest as "our last fight" for Maori sovereign rights.

"We're here to protest against something that's very important to us. And we don't want to be losing our whakapapa -  our mountains, rivers, lands and oceans. So this is our last fight, our peaceful fight. And of this doesn't go through then expect resistance," Mr Cullen said.

He said the TPP is "only a bit of paper with ink on it. So at the end of the day they still got to meet us face to face on the lands and in the waters and in those hills and mountains".

"We will go as far as we need to go," Mr Cullen said when asked how far Maori will go with resistance to the TPP.

Another Hikoi participant, Jake, said the TPP signing means "we just lose all our rights as Maori and all our ti kanga and culture goes out the window that has been passed down through generations and generations".

We are planning to disrupt the signing as well as we can"
Julia Espinoza, anti-TPP protester

In Auckland, protesters plan to block both ends of Federal Street and try to stop VIPs getting in and out.

"People can expect there to be some kind of blocking of intersections and a bit of street party vibe," said Julia Espinoza, protest organiser.

"We are planning to disrupt the signing as well as we can. We have no intention to get into Sky City. Our protest is going to be a peaceful protest and we are going to try and conduct our message through non-violent civil disobedience."

A heavy police presence is expected in the city, with officers being shipped in from other districts and police saying they're prepared for anything. 

I have a feeling these guys are going to get charged up, so we going to charge them up with some coffee"
Tevita Pua, Gloria Jeans

But some nearby employers are advising their workers not to stick around. 

"We're saying look if you can work from home or you can work in one of our offices closer to where you live, then that's a good thing and we're encouraging them to do that." said Dean Kimpton Auckland Council CEO.

Not all businesses in the vicinity are unhappy about the disruption. 

Manager of a local Gloria Jeans coffee shop, Tevita Pua, says he won't have extra security "just extra staff because I have a feeling these guys are going to get charged up, so we going to charge them up with some coffee".

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