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What inspired me to join the hikoi from Christchurch to Wellington

By   /  September 30, 2016  /  10 Comments

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Personally for me, sometimes I feel a bit burnt out from activism. Sometimes I feel like I’m not achieving much, that the enemy is too powerful.

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The ‘Our Children’s Future’ Hikoi departs from Christchurch on the 15th of October, and will be walking more than 400km to converge on Parliament for the 5th of November; the anniversary of Parihaka, and Guy Fawkes day. The Hikoi is being led by Rachel Thomas and her three tamriki, Tema, Pita and Jai, aged 11, 9 and 5. Aotearoa will remember, remember, this fifth of November.

I had no intentions of going on this hikoi, I am morbidly unfit, I smoke like a train, and the only sneakers that I own are more of a historic artifact than they are footwear.

But then I heard my friend and comrade Rachel, and her beautiful tamariki speak about why they are leading this hikoi.

The kaupapa of the hikoi is to draw attention to the effects that corporate greed is having on our communities. That putting profit before our land, our water, our communities, and our families is not okay. Rachel and her children hope to unite and strengthen communities along their journey.

They hope to inspire us all to work together to create a future for our children that we are proud of.

They are leading by example, being the change they want to see in the world.

Tema wrote and performed this poem to announce the ‘Our Children’s Future Hikoi’:

I’ve been to lots of marches and meetings against the TPP

And now I’ve decided to take part in a hikoi, to show how important this is to me

To unite, to be strong and clear about what we need

To attain the power of the people, and don’t let them suffer from the corporations greed

To walk from Christchurch to Wellington is a big quest indeed

We will be walking through all sorts of conditions

But we wont give up on our mission

Personally for me, sometimes I feel a bit burnt out from activism. Sometimes I feel like I’m not achieving much, that the enemy is too powerful.

So when I heard Tema speak with such conviction and passion about standing up for what’s right, I felt that fire of justice reignite within me. When I heard Rachel speak about making a future for our children that we are proud of, I want to be a part of that. And when I saw that a five year old was planning to walk from Christchurch to Wellington, I decided that I could too.

If you would like to be a part of this Hikoi, or if you can support it in any way, please check out our facebook page ‘Our Children’s Future Hikoi’.

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About the author

Josie Butler

Nurse, Activist and Contributor.

Josie Butler (Muaupoko) is a social justice activist, best known for famously throwing a dildo at Steven Joyce in protest of the signing of the TPP. She has been heavily involved in the anti-TPP campaign for 2 years, and has organised numerous protests and actions throughout Canterbury. Josie works as a Registered Nurse in the Mental Health Sector, and is a staunch advocate for patient rights. She has led numerous voluntary projects both nationally and abroad in the health sector, and h er latest project is a suicide prevention campaign aimed at schools. She is currently studying Maori and Indigenous studies at Canterbury University with an aim of establishing a mental health clinic run by clinicians who have all experienced mental illness, with an underlying foundation of the Maori model of health. In her spare time she enjoys photography, fishing, travel, and spending time with her dog Mister Bojangles.


  1. Dave says:

    I think you are wasting your energy.I think the TPP is a dead duck anyway. neither Hillary or Trump want anything to do with it.

    • kejomu says:

      Do you really trust these people or are you just naive ?

    • strypey says:

      The TPP stances of Trump and Clinton can only be seen as a weather vane for US public attitudes, and only until one of them takes office. Whether the US ratifies the TPP depends much more on Congress than on the President. Either way, USA politics only affects whether the USA ratify the TPP and fulfill whatever paltry tokens they’ve offered in it. If Key gets his way, parliament will pass all the TPP enabling legislation regardless of whether NZ gets any magic beans out of it or not. This is why this Hikoi and other anti-TPP activism remains important, until the treaty, like ACTA and the MAI before it, is totally stopped.

  2. tom says:

    Well done Josie, you are doing a great job. Keep on making a stand, I lot of people notice and are on your side.

  3. Kim dandy says:

    @Dave would you trust Clinton or Trump? Nah, me neither – lobbyists are huge in America and money talks. Keep up the fight to show New Zealanders DO NOT want TPP or any other ‘so called’ trade deal!

  4. George Hendry says:

    Arara !!!!

    Kia kaha, kaihikoi ma, mo tatou katoa, mo to tatou mana rakatira πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  5. JR Murphy says:

    I’ll make sure I’m at Parliament on the 5 November, will do some chalking about these issues coming up to the event.

    I’ve got some practical ideas to address some of these issues as well.

  6. Andrew says:

    Josie: If you want better outcomes for children, stop smoking and get a job.

    • John W says:

      Andrew – get a life. Have a go at those addicted to wealth as they affect the rest.

      • Strypey says:

        The most appropriate response to a 3 year old saying “poos” and “wees” for attention is to ignore them. Any reaction you give them serves as what psychologists call “negative reinforcement” and will encourage them to do it more.

        Posting provocative comments online, usually of less than 3 sentences, which don’t have a defensible point to make and seem calculated to push people’s buttons and derail the conversation, is called “trolling”. Something about being on the internet has regressed the person trolling (usually entitled white men who feel their privilege is under threat) back to that 3 year old state of mind. Again, it’s best not to encourage them by posting the offended or emotional reaction they are looking. For more information about the dynamics of trolling, see:

        Please don’t feed the trolls πŸ™‚

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