Anti-GE Maori occupy Erma office

4:30 pm - By PAULA OLIVER

Maori protesters today unfurled anti-GE banners at the Environmental Risk Management Authority and refused to leave for more than half an hour.

The central Wellington office occupation coincided with a march to Parliament by an anti-GE hikoi (march) that had passed through much of the North Island.

An Erma spokeswoman said about 15 Maori protesters entered the authority's office at noon today, requesting information about research that had already taken place.

Erma is responsible for evaluating applications for GE research projects.

The protesters, which included activist Ken Mair, put out banners, sang songs and put earth onto the office floor.

They would only speak Maori to Erma staff.

Security was tightened around the building, but the protesters left peacefully about 35 minutes later.

Outside, they accused their Maori MPs of "selling out" in the GE debate and expressed anger at the Government's decision to allow GE field trials.

"We cannot afford to let the country go GE. The public want to know what's going on, and many of them were not aware that GE was already going on," said protester Angeline Greensill.

"We are unhappy with Helen Clark. She has denigrated Maori. She can forget about getting back to Parliament on the backs of Maori."

Antoher protester said the Labour Party was kidding itself if it thought Maori would not do anything about the GE decision.

In Auckland,

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