A hikoi protesting against proposed foreshore and seabed legislation will not force the Government to make changes, Prime Minister Helen Clark said today.
"If anything it drives it the other way because people have had a gutsful of the extreme language and the extreme rhetoric," Miss Clark told Newstalk ZB radio this morning.
The hikoi has police permission to march over the Auckland Harbour Bridge at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars and massive disruption to motorists.
Police have agreed in principle to the crossing, which comes nearly 30 years after Dame Whina Cooper led Maori land protesters on their historic march over the bridge.
"People have had a gutsful of the extreme rhetoric, most Pakeha...don't believe they're stealing anything off anyone and to be constantly having that in your face is pretty annoying," Miss Clark said.
"(Pakeha) have had enough of it and that then jeopardises things that are good and worthwhile.
"There are a lot of good and worthwhile things that are happening in Maoridom. How do they ever get an airing when you've got this other nonsense going on?"
Representatives from police, Transit New Zealand and the protesters meet today to settle details about the bridge march, amid predictions it would cause severe traffic jams.
The bridge march organiser for the hikoi, Pita Sharples, said the march would take place on Tuesday.
"The idea of the hikoi is to bring the walk to the attention of as many people as possible and so you hit all the public places that you can.
"The bridge is quite public and quite spectacular, so it has to be walked," he said.
Transit New Zealand says it will have to close two northbound clip-on lanes to accommodate the march.
North Shore mayor George Wood was upset at the police decision to allow a group of people "hellbent on making a political statement" to march over the bridge.
"It is very unusual for a group of Maori protesters to be afforded this kind of privilege in this manner," he said.
"This decision will inevitably lead to major disruption and there has been very little notice or consultation about this decision."