“These marchers will have no impact on the passage of the Marine and Coastal Area Bill in Parliament”, he says, “and if they think otherwise, they are delusional”.
“But sores still”, says Mr Rankin, “this protest is taking place when our nation is in a period of great difficulty. Instead of wandering around the country to satisfy their own egos, these protestors should be in Christchurch, investing that energy in helping their fellow New Zealanders”.
Mr Rankin, who chairs the Hone Heke Foundation, also points to the low turnout for the hikoi. “They have not even been able to get a hundred people together for the march. To most sensible people, this would be a good reason to cal the whole thing off, but these protestors are not normal, and they are bringing shame to Maori.
Hone Harawira has come in for particular criticism by Mr Rankin. “Hone agitated this hikoi into action, and as soon as it started to look like a failure, he backed away from it. At last he has shown his true colours as a political opportunist with appalling judgment”.
“The Marine and Coastal Area Bill will become law by the end of this week”, says Mr Rankin, ” and gradually, the marchers on this hikoi and their sometime leader, Mr Harawira, will be forgotten by the electorate”.