Supporters of Ngati Awa's case relating to water bottling at Otakiri have gathered outside the Rotorua Courthouse this morning.

About 100 descendants of Ngati Awa gathered, some holding flags, to peacefully show their support for the local iwi's fight for Otakiri's water.

Ngati Awa supporters squeeze into the Rotorua Courthouse. Photo / Andrew Warner
Ngati Awa supporters squeeze into the Rotorua Courthouse. Photo / Andrew Warner

An elder of the group said a karakia before they entered the courthouse.

An appeal of the Environment Court's decision starts today in the High Court at Rotorua and is scheduled to end on Thursday.

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The decision allows Creswell NZ, a subsidiary of a Chinese company Nongfu Spring, the right to increase the amount of groundwater taken by the Otakiri bottling plant for commercial purposes to an annual allocation of 1.1 million cubic metres.

About half of the supporters were allowed to sit in the public gallery of the court case while the remainder were moved to the Māori Land Court building where a CCTV camera was set up to allow them to watch the proceedings.

Ngati Awa supporters. Photo / Supplied
Ngati Awa supporters. Photo / Supplied
Ngati Awa supporters squeeze into the Rotorua Courthouse. Photo / Andrew Warner
Ngati Awa supporters squeeze into the Rotorua Courthouse. Photo / Andrew Warner