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1.30pm:

Queen Street is now clear except for the area around the Town Hall.

Motorists are advised to stay clear of Aotea Square and the Town Hall this afternoon. The hikoi is expected to finish at 4pm.

1.15pm:

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Bastion Point veteran Grant Hawke welcomed tribes from throughout New Zealand, as well as pakeha and immigrants who he says swelled numbers in today's hikoi.

Protesters were welcomed with waiata and speeches from Ngati Whatua elders.

Superintendent Wally Haumaha described the crowd as very well behaved.

He said: "there were no problems over the harbour bridge today."

There were no arrests made today.

Mr Haumaha said police estimate the crowd to be between 5000 and 7000 strong.

12.47pm:

Elders of Ngati Whatua are standing underneath a marquee as protesters are being welcomed to the end of their hikoi outside the Auckland Town Hall with a karanga and waiata.

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The crowd stretches right back to the intersection of Queen and Wellesley Street.

Mabel Wharekawa-Burt said: "Isn't being Maori awesome? We've got no land, we've got no money but man, have we got mana."

12.37pm:

The hikoi against Auckland's Super City plans is now outside the Auckland Town Hall.

It is completely clear of Customs Street, which has now reopened.

Queen Street, and cross-streets like Victoria St and Wellesley St, will remain closed as the hikoi moves up, so should be avoided.

12.30pm:

The hikoi is now starting to enter Aotea Square.

Maria Guerrero, formerly from Venezuela, who now lives on Auckland's North Shore says: "New Zealand is community-based and we like that, I know my neighbour, it is more personal."

She said she would not like to see Auckland as a Super City because it would lose its community spirit.

12.26pm:

The hikoi against Auckland's Super City plans has reached Wellesley Street as it makes its way towards Aotea Square.

Manukau mayor Len Brown told nzherald.co.nz "All the mayors apart from John Banks have joined today's hikoi."

Mr Brown said he and fellow councillors are in the Auckland CBD to support the case for Maori representation and the "fabulous young people leading today's hikoi".

"It's a great day for the Auckland community and part of the process of going forward. There's no apathy here today, the people are in the house."

Waitakere City mayor Bob Harvey said: "If this is a sign, young people are returning to local government and democracy with a rush."

"They have always said that Maori don't vote (in local government elections), well just might"

12.13pm

Auckland's central business district has come to a standstill.

Undeterred by heavy rain, thousands of protesters are marching up Queen St, with most calling for special Maori-only seats on the super city council.

Taiaha are being thrown in the air, while haka and songs are being performed, interspersed with chants of "move aside Rodney Hide, give us back our Maori pride," and "when Treaty rights are under attack, stand back, fight back."

Tino Rangatiratanga flags are scattered among banners with slogans such as "it's about rights, not race."

The Public Service Association is also taking part in the protest, calling for no redundancies for council workers. There are also a number of protesters calling for the super city plan to be scrapped altogether.

Shops and office buildings are empty as people spill out to watch.

12.00pm:

A massive haka is taking place as protesters wielding taiaha and mere lead the thousands-strong hikoi up Queen Street.

11.53am:

The hikoi against Auckland's Super City plans has begun to move up Queen Street.

A hikoi leader using a public address system previously appealled to office workers in the Auckland CBD to join the march up Queen Street.

"It's about our rights, not race," he told the massive crowd before the march began to move.

11.44am:

Mark Walker, of the Traffic Management Unit which operates traffic cameras round the city, says that things are under control, the motorways are fine.

The Queen St/Customs St intersection is closed to traffic, as the hikoi has filled Queen St between Quay and Customs and further south, as they make their way towards Aotea Square.

Motorists should avoid Queen St and Customs St.

11.35am:

As the thousands-strong Super City hikoi prepares to move up Queen Street, a plane has just flown past towing a Maori Party banner.

Bystanders have lined Queen Street with many standing on park benches to take photographs with cameras and cellphones.

11.28am:

Protesters armed with taiaha have formed at the bottom of Queen Street to lead thousands of marchers from across Auckland

Marchers are singing waiata as they wait to be led up Queen Street in the rain.

11.11am:

Many thousand Hikoi members have been welcomed to the CBD with a haka performed by students from Te Kura Kaupapa Hoani Waititi school in West Auckland.

Groups of protesters that have made their way into the city from all corners of Auckland, and other regions, are currently converging outside the Britomart entrance on Queen Street.

There are hundreds of tourists and bystanders watching proceedings as the hikoi starts to move up Auckland's main street.

11:01am:

Marchers have just reached Gore Street, near the Briotmart in the Auckland CBD.

Samoan hikoi supporter Filiga Setoga, holding a Samoan flag says he came out to support today's hikoi to add voices from the Pacific to the cause.

"Our indigenous voices, if we stand together, are louder together".

Mr Setoga said both the Samoan and Maori people were colonised at the same time and have similar needs today.

10.54am:

Mark Walker, manager of the Traffic Management Unit which operates traffic cameras round the city, says there are delays on Tamaki Drive heading towards the city, and also on Quay St, with people walking on the roadway.

There are also people heading towards Quay St from the Domain still walking along Symonds St, so slow patches there.

There may be traffic problems around Victoria Park as people head towards the meeting place.

The motorways, particularly the Northern and Northwestern, were heavier than usual from about 9.30am because of car convoys carrying hikoi participants, but the motorways are now back to normal.

10.50am:

Marchers from Orakei marae are now within sight of the historic ferry building.

There has also been an announcement that busloads of kohanga reo students have joined the hikoi.

10.44am:

Around 250 people are waiting outside the Britomart, while marchers from Orakei marae are just passing Vector Arena.

10.36am:

The crowd that has walked from the Domain has just finished singing Bob Marley's

Redemption Song

on Symonds Street.

Tia Roa bought his two Jack Russel/Corgi cross dogs along to the hikoi today because he thought they "would enjoy the exercise."

The Manurewa man said he was there to support tino rangatiratanga, and although he never voted in the local body elections, he would make a point to from now on.

10.30am

10.49am:

The head of the central city's rival business district says today's Super City hikoi and resulting traffic gridlock could be potentially costing the CBD's 5,000 businesses millions of dollars in lost revenue and productivity.

"The country's commercial capital has effectively been forced to close for a whole day," says Newmarket Business Association's Cameron Brewer. "The hikoi could not have come for a worst time for CBD businesses."

10.25am

The Ngati Whatua Orakei hikoi marchers have just passed intersection of Quay Street and The Strand.

Alec Hawke, whose daughter Joannie passed away in a fire during the Bastion Point occupation 31 years ago has been working with police and the City Council to make sure today's hikoi runs smoothly and safely.

He said 31 years ago protesters didn't use a permit and Bastion Point protesters' hikoi marched into the city about 25 times.

Mr Hawke said he's very happy with the turnout, but said it wasn't about numbers, but showing that Maori support Maori seats.

"It's about getting people out, we want representation."

10.23am:

Rex Hemi, 68, drove up from Rotorua today to take part in the march. He said even though he wasn't from Tamaki Makaurau, "well we're all Maori and what's happening here is going to happen in Tauranga, Rotorua, everywhere."

10.15am:

Those in the very south of Auckland say they are fighting to save Papakura from being swallowed up in the super city. A group of around 80 people gathered earlier this morning at Red Hill Pa for a prayer service. Mayor Calum Penrose says their city has a distinct identity and does not want to be swallowed up by greater Auckland.

Manukau mayor Len Brown is angry, many issues are being ignored in Auckland';s super city proposal. He says the at-large seats are a continuing nonsense, that are being supported by the Royal Commission and the Government.

Mr Brown believes ward representation would bring the community together. He says it would ensure democratic representation and a stronger likelihood of ethnic representation. Mr Brown says Aucklanders should march in the hikoi to support Maori representation and to ensure the Super City works.

10.12am:

Police are alternatively letting city bound traffic, and east-bound traffic through on Tamaki Drive.

Domain hikoi members are still crossing Grafton Bridge.

10.07am:

A convoy of buses is on the Southern Motorway sounding horns and flying Maori sovereignty flags.

An estimated 1000 protesters are on the Northwestern Motorway in a convoy of buses and cars.

10:03am:

About 300 hikoi members have left Auckland Domain and are now approaching Grafton Bridge, where traffic is being stopped by police.

The marchers, with several tino rangatiratanga flags flying, are being led by about 15 police.

Protesters are chanting "Don't delete Maori seats, what do we want Maori seats, when do we want it now."

9.46am:

Protesters are chanting "Stand aside Rodney Hide, give us back our Maori pride".

The hikoi is now coming up to Ngapipi Road, which has now been blocked off by police. The city-bound lane of Tamaki drive is now closed.

Rob Tuwhare, son of now-deceased poet Hone Tuwhare, says his father is looking down on everyone, smiling and writing a poem.

Mr Tuwhare said "some New Zealanders think it's a thing of numbers, but Maori are prepared to share."

He said Auckland is the largest Polynesian city in the world and it is only right that there be guaranteed Maori representation on a Super City council.

Mr Tuwhare said it is 31 years on since the Bastion Point occupation, and he was proud to be walking today.

Hikoi member Merania Kerehoma said she was here to "tautoko (support) whanau and Maori". She said the turnout was "awesome" given the rain.

9.41am:

Police have closed Tamaki Drive eastbound from Ngapipi Road.

A part of the Northwestern motorway is being blocked by a small group of buses and cars travelling at about 30km/h with a police escort, a caller to

Newstalk ZB

says.

Another group of protesters are due at Auckland Domain around 10am.

9.26am:

Protesters stood for a moment's silence outside the urupa, or cemetery, at Okahu Bay, before performing the 'ka mate' haka.

The hikoi protesters are currently chanting "No thanks, John Banks"

9.16am:

1000 protesters are now on Tamaki Drive, heading towards the Auckland CBD.

The hikoi is being led by four men carrying taiaha and one sounding a pututara (a traditional wooden horn).

Police have blocked off the inbound lane to the city.

One protester who gave his name as F. Tito told nzherald.co.nz that he was taking part in the hikoi to "get our seats back".

He described the government's decision to remove three maori seats from the Super City Council as a "spit in the face".

Asked if the Maori Party had a role, Mr Tito said "the party could only do so much."

He said that responsibility to remedy the situation "goes back to the people."

9.06am:

About 1000 protesters have left the Orakei Marae at Bastion Point, led by police and a Ngati Whatua vehicle.

Some are chanting "where democracy is under attack, stand up, fight back".

Many are waving tino rangatiratanga flags and one protestor is carrying a placard saying "my bones are in this land".

Te Waka Taniwha said he was there "to stand up for his rights as mana whenua".

He said the decision by the Government not to have any Maori representation on the Super City was directly against the Treaty of Waitangi.

He said mana whenua should be able to choose how many seats they have on the new council.

8.33am:

A hikoi against the proposed Auckland supercity is unlikely to make a difference, is premature and the wrong forum to raise concerns, Prime Minister John Key says.

A large protest is to wind its way through Auckland streets today with some estimates predicating 10,000 people would converge on Queen Street by midday.

The hikoi was sparked over the dumping of the Maori seats from the Auckland super city proposal - in contrast to a Royal Commission recommendation.

Mr Key was asked on TV One's Breakfast show what he thought about the protest and the disruption it would cause.

"Obviously people have a right to protest and we respect that," he said.

"(But) I can't help but wonder if they are a little bit ahead of themselves."

The right forum to raise concerns was through the parliamentary process, he said.

The select committee soon to start looking at legislation setting up the council would consider the issues raised by the protest, Mr Key said.

It would look at the governance structure, how councillors were elected and issues around Maori representation.

"I don't think the hikoi of itself will make any difference really...we are going to go through the select committee process, that's not a white wash we are actually going to listen to what happens there. We are trying to work on getting an outcome that works for everyone."

7.49am:

Auckland can expect traffic chaos this morning, as the Super City protest march clogs key city-bound roads and motorways.

Commuters are being told to depart for work earlier than usual or use public transport. The city council is warning people to steer clear of the CBD between 9.30am and 4pm. The convoy will travel from the north, east, south and west of Auckland to assembly points in the city.

Tamaki Drive, Symonds, Customs and Fanshawe Streets should be avoided. Expect delays on the Harbour Bridge, North Western Motorway and State Highway One. Queen Street will be shut from midday.

There will be significant delays on Auckland's motorways, as around six thousand people head into the city centre. The hikoi will converge on Victoria Park from this morning.

Those involved are protesting against the lack of guaranteed Maori representation on the proposed super council.

Transport Agency regional director Wayne McDonald says the Harbour Bridge, Southern, Northern and Northwestern motorways will be swamped. He says people travelling to the airport should allow extra time for their journey.

Those taking part in Auckland's Hikoi will need their wet weather gear.

- NEWSTALK ZB, NZPA and NZ HERALD STAFF