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Forty years since land march at Parliament

Radio New Zealand logo Radio New Zealand 12/10/2015
Whina Cooper addressing Maori Land March at Hamilton. By Christian Heinegg Courtesy of Alexander Turnbull Library Ref: PA7-15-18 Maori Land March 1975

Today marks the 40th anniversary of a month-long Māori land march's arrival at Parliament.

Five thousand people blocked the motorway into Wellington in October 1975 in what were the final steps of the North Island march for Māori land rights.

The Māori land march of 1975 reaches Taranaki Street, Wellington. © Photo: Evening Post / Alexander Turnbull Library / The Māori land march of 1975 reaches Taranaki Street, Wellington. They brought the phrase 'Not One More Acre' down with them from the Far North to call for an end to the loss of Māori land.

The movement was lead by the late Dame Whina Cooper, who was 79 years old.

Dame Whina Cooper © Photo: Christian F Heinegg Dame Whina Cooper

A petition of support with 60,000 signatures was presented to Parliament after the march.

The march's importance has been referenced recently as the government reviews the Te Ture Whenua Māori Act.

Māori claimants oppose the Crown reviewing the legislation and will take their case to the Waitangi Tribunal to decide who has authority to change Māori land laws.

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