As it happened: Ihumātao protesters hīkoi to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's office

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Protesters from Ihumātao have arrived at Jacinda Ardern's Mt Albert office after a six-hour-long hīkoi from the south Auckland site. It was prompted by the Prime Minister's refusal to visit.

3:10pm - Organisers have just spoken to reporters. They say talks underway to find a resolution are in a good place.

2:55pm - The hīkoi has finished with a karakia and waiata. The protesters will return to Ihumātao via buses.

2:45pm - Newton says tamariki have walked 18km to be at the office. The children are now being asked to present the invitation to Ardern's staff.

The staffers were escorted from the office to the road to collect the invitation. A haka was conducted afterwards.

They were thanked by one of the protesters for coming out of the office to accept the invitation. He said they battled high winds and rain to be there. He hopes Ardern will visit the site and feel the love of the mana whenua.

He said they "loved" Ardern.

As it happened: Ihumātao protesters hīkoi to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's office
Photo credit: Newshub.
As it happened: Ihumātao protesters hīkoi to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's office
Photo credit: Newshub.

2:40pm - Newton is currently standing with two children. They are holding an invitation for Ardern to visit the historic south Auckland site. There are many flags being held high in the sky.

"Dear Jacinda Ardern. You are invited to Ihumātao by 26,633 kaitiaki to walk the whenua, experience, korero, and acknowledge this kaupapa," the invitation says. More than 26,000 people have signed the petition asking her to visit.

As it happened: Ihumātao protesters hīkoi to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's office
Photo credit: Newshub.

2:30pm - The group has now settled outside the office and members are speaking. Protest organiser Pania Newton (pictured below within the group) has said she will deliver a USB to a member of the Prime Minister's office. The USB has a petition on it calling for Ardern to visit Ihumātao.

But Ardern's office looks relatively shut up. She is not there.

As it happened: Ihumātao protesters hīkoi to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's office
Photo credit: Newshub.
As it happened: Ihumātao protesters hīkoi to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's office
Photo credit: Newshub.

2:20pm - The hīkoi has arrived at Ardern's office. The group is chanting and members are holding a large letter invitation addressed to Ardern. The protesters are being welcomed to the site with a haka.

As it happened: Ihumātao protesters hīkoi to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's office
Photo credit: Newshub.
As it happened: Ihumātao protesters hīkoi to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's office
Photo credit: Newshub.
As it happened: Ihumātao protesters hīkoi to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's office
Photo credit: Newshub.
As it happened: Ihumātao protesters hīkoi to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's office
Photo credit: Newshub.

2pm - The large group of roughly 350 protesters are nearly at the New North Rd / St Lukes Rd intersection. From there they only need to march roughly 1km to Ardern's office.

New North Rd around the office is closed. A quick kapa haka lesson is underway there now.

As it happened: Ihumātao protesters hīkoi to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's office
Photo credit: Newshub.
As it happened: Ihumātao protesters hīkoi to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's office
Photo credit: Newshub.

1:50pm - Some protesters are at Ardern's office waiting for the main group. Police officers are also on scene.

While heavy rain has hammered the protesters throughout Thursday, they may miss the worst of it. Vicious thunderstorms and potential tornadoes are forecast for Thursday evening.

Newshub's Jared McCulloch says the protest is running a little behind time due to the wild weather.

As it happened: Ihumātao protesters hīkoi to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's office
Photo credit: Newshub.

1:30pm - They're nearly there. The growing number of protesters are marching through Sandringham and chanting as they go. It's only about 2km away from the Prime Minister's office.

"Sorry to disrupt your customers, we're off to see Jacinda and get our land back," said one protester to a store owner. Ardern will not be at her office, however.

Newshub's Emma Cropper described the march as having a "huge vibe" now that the rain has mostly stopped. She said the singing can be heard hundreds of metres away.

As it happened: Ihumātao protesters hīkoi to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's office
Photo credit: Newshub.
As it happened: Ihumātao protesters hīkoi to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's office
Photo credit: Newshub.
As it happened: Ihumātao protesters hīkoi to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's office
Photo credit: Newshub.

1pm - The hīkoi is nearing Ardern's New North Rd office, heading through Mt Roskill at the moment.

12:40pm - While protesters continue their hīkoi, a group in Sydney are taking the Parramatta City Council to court, also wanting authority over a section of land.

They are laying claim over 112 acres of Sydney land they say was gifted to Māori in 1811.

12:10pm - Protesters are closing in on the third pick-up spot near the Dominion Rd bridge.

Auckland is currently being battered by heavy rain but it doesn't appear to be deterring those marching.

As it happened: Ihumātao protesters hīkoi to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's office
Photo credit: Newshub.
As it happened: Ihumātao protesters hīkoi to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's office
Photo credit: Newshub.

11:30am - One protester told Newshub that Prime Minister Ardern should be "with the people".

"We are addressing an injustice," he said while marching.

"I came out today to show Aotearoa I stand in support, in solidary with our mana whenua at Ihumātao and that there are institutions and systems at play that have let Māori down. [Ardern] needs to be aware of them and show face."

He called her absence from Ihumātao "shameful".

"It doesn't signify the Aotearoa New Zealand we are heading towards. I think we as a nation are healing and she needs to be on board."

11:10am - The group are now entering Hillsborough along Orpheus Dr. They still have their large #protectihumatao banner, which is now being dangled from a bridge over State Highway 20.

As it happened: Ihumātao protesters hīkoi to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's office
Photo credit: Newshub.
As it happened: Ihumātao protesters hīkoi to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's office
Photo credit: Newshub.

10:40am - Approximately 300 protesters are now crossing Mangere Bridge. They have left their sign attached to the bridge side. Newshub's Emma Cropper says despite marching for nearly three hours in the rain, their spirits are high.

As it happened: Ihumātao protesters hīkoi to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's office
Photo credit: Newshub.
As it happened: Ihumātao protesters hīkoi to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's office
Photo credit: Newshub.
As it happened: Ihumātao protesters hīkoi to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's office
Photo credit: Newshub.

10:30am - Despite roughly 200 people taking part in the hīkoi, they won't be meeting the Prime Minister at her office. Ardern said she is "almost never" at her electorate office on a Thursday.

10am - The hīkoi is moving past Mangere Bridge school - the first pick-up point on the march. Despite the poor weather, children continue to stand out near the road singing under umbrellas. The group will now head towards Mangere Bridge.

9:45am - A large group of children are waiting in the rain at Mangere Bridge school for the group of protesters.

9:30am - On Wednesday night, police said they would keep an eye on the hīkoi to ensure minimal disruption to the public. 

"We recognise everyone’s right to freedom of peacefully assembly and we have been in discussion with organisers as we want everyone involved to be safe," Superintendent Jill Rogers said.

"Police will be monitoring the event to ensure the safety of everyone involved and to ensure there is minimal disruption for the general public as a result of the hikoi.

"It may be advisable for the public to avoid the general area at the time of the hīkoi if possible."

9:10am - Act Party leader David Seymour says Ardern "emboldened" the protesters by last month announcing a temporary halt to any construction at the site after a meeting with relevant parties, including Fletchers and Auckland Council.

"The PM's intervention only served to embolden protestors who are now en route to her electorate office to demand she visit the site. Ardern should never have involved herself in the dispute," Seymour said on Thursday morning.

He hopes police ensure protesters can't return to the site and uphold "the legitimate property rights of the developer".

As it happened: Ihumātao protesters hīkoi to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's office
Photo credit: Newshub.

9am - Former Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson spoke to The AM Show on Thursday morning. He said the protesters should march to meet Tainui.

"All the iwi that have settled around this area have Tainui links. Kiingi Tuheitia's been there. I think it's a fantastic opportunity for Tainui to step up - they're very, very wealthy - and say, 'Right - we'll buy the land commercially. Nothing to do with the Crown at all.'"

Tainui was the first iwi to cut a deal with the Crown in the mid-1990s, and has since turned its $170 million into holdings of more than $1 billion.

"You could get an appropriate Novotel there, beautiful open space. Someone suggested it could be a golf course... Open space, beautiful piece of land. What better than having 18 holes before you jump on the Emirates flight to Dubai?"

As it happened: Ihumātao protesters hīkoi to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's office
Photo credit: The AM Show / Newshub.

8:50am - Google Maps says there is "heavy traffic" in Mangere which is "much slower than usual". Motorists have been told to expect delays if they are in the area.

Newshub's Emma Cropper has spoken to some motorists who tell her while the hīkoi is holding them up, they support the march and are okay with the delay.

8:45am - The AM Show reporter Elizabeth White says the atmosphere is "insane". The hīkoi is yet to reach the first pick-up spot at the Mangere Bridge school but already more than 100 people are participating.

8:30am - Protesters are in an upbeat mood and are singing as they march.

8:15am - The hīkoi is underway with Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL) and protest organiser Pania Newton leading the charge. They are on Oruarangi Rd currently.

As it happened: Ihumātao protesters hīkoi to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's office
Photo credit: Newshub.
As it happened: Ihumātao protesters hīkoi to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's office
Photo credit: Newshub.
As it happened: Ihumātao protesters hīkoi to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's office
Photo credit: Newshub.

8:10am - Protesters gave the Prime Minister the ultimatum last week. A petition calling for her to visit the site has more than 25,000 signatures.

8am - The hīkoi will kick off at 8am with protesters leaving Ihumātao. The march will stop off at several sites on the way to Ardern's office.

Motorists are being warned to expect delays if they travel near the hīkoi's route.

As it happened: Ihumātao protesters hīkoi to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's office
Photo credit: Newshub.

Last week, protesters at the south Auckland site announced they would march to the Prime Minister's officer if she didn't visit the site - which is believed to be one of the country's earliest settlements.

Demonstrations have been underway at the historic site for weeks, with thousands of protesters flocking to the area from across New Zealand. They are demanding the cancellation of a Fletcher's housing development planned for the site.

A petition calling for Government or Auckland Council intervention has received more than 53,000 signatures while another petition asking for Ardern to visit the site has more than 25,000.

As recently as Tuesday, Ardern said she had no intentions to go to the site. 

"I've learned that sometimes, leadership means recognising when you need to create space for others. To let grievance be heard. To hear different ideas. To where these different ideas may compete," she said at Tūrangawaewae Marae in Ngāruawāhia

"I will be there for those hard conversations. I am there. But I'll also recognise when the seat at the head of the table isn't necessarily me."

Newshub.

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