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Protesters march for landmark

Published: 8:02PM Saturday July 20, 2002

Hundreds of people have marched to Parliament angry over the proposed sale of Young Nick's Head to an American millionaire.

The protesters started walking at dawn and protest organisers say the hikoi is picking up support as it goes.

Local iwi Ngai Tamanuhiri lead the protest to Parliament.

The iwi has been camped at Te Kuri or Young Nick's Head in protest of the sale of the famous East Coast landmark to New York financier John Griffin.

Griffin wants to buy the 661 hectare station from a New Zealander for $3.2 million, but needs government approval.

"The issue we have is that because of the weakness, the stupidity and the incompetence of the overseas investment commission legislation we have no other recourse." said Tu Wyllie, a Ngai Tamanuhiri spokesperson.

The protesters say the government has not done enough to stop the sale.

But the government says it cannot make any major decisions because of the election.

Ngai Tamanuhiri say that if need be they will occupy government grounds, setting up camp until they are assured Young Nick's Head remains New Zealand-owned.