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Meet or we'll march: Petition launched calling on Jacinda Ardern to visit Ihumātao

A petition has been launched calling on the Prime Minister to visit Ihumātao, which hundreds of people have been occupying to oppose a new housing development.

It's been 18 days since protestors first invited Jacinda Ardern to visit the whenua.

The leader of protest group SOUL, Pania Newton, said she wanted Ms Ardern to understand why the land meant so much to the people occupying it.

"During the reclamation, we have reached out to Jacinda Ardern many times, asking her to visit the whenua and meet with us face-to-face but she still hasn't replied," she said.

"Until our Prime Minister experiences this whenua for herself, we won't feel confident she has a true sense of what's at stake or will deeply appreciate why this whenua matters so much and to so many people."

In a video posted to social media, Ms Newton said if the Prime Minister didn't take up the invitation protestors would march to her parliamentary office.

"If she doesn't take up our invitation on Thursday, 22 August we will march from Ihumātao to her office in Mt Albert Auckland to hand deliver our new petition.

"When Jacinda became Prime Minister, she promised a kinder approach and we believed her. Under her leadership, the Government can right the wrong of the original raupatu by returning the land wrongfully stolen by the Crown."

Jacinda Ardern told RNZ last week she hadn't ruled out visiting Ihumātao in the future.

Its been three weeks since protestors were served an eviction notice by police.

Pania Newton wants Jacinda Ardern to understand why the land means so much to the people defending it
Pania Newton wants Jacinda Ardern to understand why the land means so much to the people defending it Source: rnz.co.nz