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’.