May 12, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Protest Coming: Our Cry for Help, Can you Hear Us?

3 min read

He Aha Te Mea Nui o Te Ao?

He Tangata, He Tamariki, He Mokopuna

Join us on a PASSIVE PROTEST to highlight the serious safety and health impacts of the eminent jet aircrafts on the children and people of Ruamata Marae and Te Kohanga me Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Ruamata.

This protest is not about land or money but the wellbeing of our children and what better cause to protest for! The Rotorua District Council, the Rotorua Airport Company and the Crown have ear muffs on. We need your help to raise the volume so our plight is put on their radar today!

Where: Outside the main gate of Rotorua Airport
When: Saturday 12 December 2009 (to coincide with the arrival of the first official trans-Tasman Airbus A320 flight from Sydney)
1pm to 3pm


Ruamata – latitude 38 5’44.31″S, longitude 17619’21.55″E – is home to more than 100 children every school day of the year. Ruamata is located immediately below the northern flight path into Rotorua Airport. We dont know how high above our marae, kohanga and school planes fly because we are not on anyones radar, including the Airways Corporation which monitors the navigation of planes in New Zealand.

Unlike residential areas, we do not have the same protection of a height limit that aircraft must fly over us.

The impacts of aircrafts on the children and people of the marae not only relate to noise but they extend to acoustic vibrations and the emission of aviation fuel over the areas where our children play and swim, where we bury our dead, where we cook our hangi and where we welcome visitors. International research on children going to schools near airports have found that excessively loud noise can lead to elevated nervous system activity, cardiovascular levels and learning difficulties. And they call them whisper jets yeah right!

The fact that most aircraft crashes happen close to their airport destination only heighten our fears. This is a fear weve tried to allay but one that grows within us now as a result of the eminent jets.


  • Boycott the pohiri for these jets on December 12
  • Join our protest line on December 12
  • Write to the Minister of Treaty Negotiations, the Hon Chris Finlayson, and Minister of Maori Affairs, the Hon Dr Pita Sharples, and urge them to get some action going on the negotiation of Ruamata Maraes Airspace Protection Claim.

Contact: Blanche Hohepa-Kiriona Tel 07 345 7888 [email protected]

(This protest is being led by various whanau from the marae who also have children, mokopuna, nieces and nephews at the kura)

Click below to view a Google Map of the area:

For those with concerns:

Whaea Blanche Hohepa-Kiriona will be leading the protest. Whaea Blanche was born at the marae. Her late mother, father and brother Hiko campaigned for decades for justice when it came to the marae and airport issues. Not only that, but Whaea Blanche has mokopuna at the kura and she’s a trustee of the land that the kura is on.

She really does care about the plight of the marae and kura. Now many of you may be concerned that if you protest, then you might get the cold shoulder from koeke who will be doing the pohiri for the jets. My sister spoke with one of our kuia Mini King-Vercoe last week and she said for us to go ahead, that we have her blessing.

The protest is not about attacking koeke, we must make that very clear. It is about highlighting the impacts on the marae and our children.

You are welcome to come and join the protest
Please pass this panui onto your networks.

4 thoughts on “Protest Coming: Our Cry for Help, Can you Hear Us?

  1. Thank you Ihaia.

    Also, many thanks to the Rotorua Daily Post for highlighting this kaupapa in today's issue .

    We will try and post the front page story soon.


  2. Hi there,

    I've pulled some research that might help some of the readers get a clearer idea about the concerns that this group has towards the upcoming proposal. The research involves a selection of schools that have been tested, and are situated near the Los Angeles International Airport in California, USA.

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