Māori Standing Rock supporters perform haka in downtown Auckland

  • 04/11/2016
(Sarah Templeton / Newshub.)
(Sarah Templeton / Newshub.)

A Māori group performed a haka in downtown Auckland on Friday afternoon, passionately supporting a Native American tribe protesting a pipeline being built through their land.

The pan-iwi group Haka with Standing Rock made the show of support outside Auckland's US Consulate building. They did it for the Standing Rock Sioux, who say they haven't been properly consulted on the pipeline which would go through "sacred land".

This group was established by Te Hamua Nikora. On the group's Facebook page, they say they are "a small group of individuals who came together and are taking a stand to protect the water, the land and the people threatened by the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline".

"They look to Māori as leaders in the field of treaty rights and treaty claims. We're the people with a treaty from 1840 and we still hold to that treaty," Mr Nikora says.

Protester Dayna Hawke, 44, said: "I believe in indigenous people need to have a positive input into how they're going to sustain their children's futures. That's why I'm here today, to support mana whenua of New Zealand, to tell the powers that be that there are people that care."

Atawhai Gage, a protester who brought her 9-year-old daughter along to the event, said the events at Standing Rock were making her "heart hurt".

 "They are our brothers and our sisters. We are one."

Benita Tahuri, one of the organisers of the protest, said they aimed to create unity within the indigenous people across the world.

"If we come together we can be strong."