July: Te Hikoi ki Waitangi
In February 1984, the Hikoi was approaching Waitangi from Auckland. Hui Vercoe and I decided to go to Waitangi; we thought there was a potential for violence and we wanted to be advocates for peace and calm. Most of those at the front were old people from Tainui. There was a determination to meet someone who would listen to the messages of frustration and hear of the injustices the marchers felt.
When we proceeded on to the bridge, the police helicopter was flying low overhead, which can be very intimidating. Suddenly a lone police inspector approached and said stop. Being law abiding people we did what he said and stopped there midstream. After discussion we moved across the bridge and grouped ourselves on the grassy slopes of the Waitangi reserve.
Meantime the Governor General Sir David Beattie was waiting to meet the Hikoi at the top marae. Back at the bridge the Hikoi was told that only a delegation could go forward to meet Sir David. After another long discussion the decision was made that if everyone could not go to meet the Governor General then no one would go. I was told that Sir David shed a tear or two. Certainly the image of a meeting that never quite took place and the willingness of Sir David to go out onto a limb, remains powerfully in my memory.