A hikoi opposing a water bottling plant at Poroti went to the wrong door to present documents and submissions to the Northland Regional Council following a misunderstanding.
Around 200 people gathered in the carpark beside the NRC building in Water St, Whangarei, on Monday to start a hikoi opposed to granting consent to establish a water bottling plant at Poroti Springs.
It came after Zodiac Holdings made an application for resource consent to build a bottling plant on Mangakahia Rd. The company has since put the application on hold but can restart it any time.
On Monday the marchers wanted to deliver a detailed submission opposing the bottling plant at Poroti Springs to the NRC.
No NRC officials came out to receive the document and the door they went to was locked, so Whatitiri Maori Reserves trustee Millan Ruka slid the document under the door. At the nearby Whangarei District Council offices, Mr Ruka delivered a copy of the document to a receptionist.
However, NRC strategy and governance general manager Johnno Gibbard said the marchers went to the building's side door that was for staff only.
"The main front door was open throughout the hikoi being in the carpark," Mr Gibbard said.
He said council met with hikoi organiser Hona Edwards last Friday to discuss health and safety aspects of the march to ensure it was done safely.
He said Mr Edwards was told at that meeting that NRC chairman Bill Shepherd and chief executive Malcolm Nicolson would not be able to meet the hikoi and accept the document because they had a prior commitment at Whangarei Heads they could not rearrange.
"At that meeting it was explained that he [Mr Nicolson] was happy to meet with the organisers at a later date and we are still trying to arrange that to happen," Mr Gibbard said.
Mr Edwards said the hikoi did not realise the side doors would be locked and he had assumed they would be open to present the document.
He had not considered going through the main entrance as it had always been the intention to go through the side door, which is in the carpark where they had gathered.
"But to complain about us going to the side door rather than the front door is a bit trivial I think," he said.
Hikoi organisers were keen to meet with Mr Nicolson to discuss their concerns.