"We speak for our water."
That was the passionate message delivered by Hona Edwards, the organiser of a hikoi through central Whangarei today.
The protest was against the commercial extraction of water from Poroti Springs.
It was organised after Zodiac Holdings, made an application for resource consent to build a bottling plant at the site on Mangakahia Rd. The company has since put the application on hold.
About 200 people joined forces with flags and signs and chanted their way through Whangarei.
The group gathered in the Water St carpark near the Northland Regional Council officers and started their hikoi at about 10am.
"It doesn't matter who you are, where you come from, the purpose is common, without water, everything dies," Mr Edwards said.
The first stop was across the road at the Northland Regional Council offices where they wanted to deliver a document outlining their objection, combined with support from all over world.
The door was locked, so Whatitiri Maori Reserve trustee Millan Ruka slid the document under the door.
From there, the hikoi carried on to the Whangarei District Council where Mr Ruka delivered the document to a receptionist.
The hikoi then brought central Whangarei to a standstill as the group headed towards Cameron St Mall. After stopping for speeches the protest carried on to Laurie Hall Park.
Mr Edwards told those in the group they could congratulate themselves for the efforts they had put in to send their message to the community leaders.
"We have achieved that without abuse, we have achieved that without conflict, we have achieved that with harmony."
"I've got that much love, I want you to take some of that and take it home with you. I want you fellas (sic) to take some of that love and give it to the ngahere, give it to the awa and give it to your whenua."
Zodiac Holdings' application for a building consent for a commercial bottling plant at Poroti Springs was put on hold by the company last week. It can be restarted at any time.