March on Bridges' office for dolphins

Last updated 13:04 21/06/2014
MARK MCKEOWN/Musae Studios

VOICES HEARD: Protesters carried dolphin placards numbered one to 55, representing the number of Maui's dolphins left. Other signs called for Simon Bridges' resignation.

ACTION NEEDED: A Maui's dolphin.

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About 300 people brought traffic to a standstill in downtown Tauranga this morning, as they marched on Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges' electorate office to protest his decision to allow oil exploration in a marine sanctuary that is home to the rare Maui's dolphin.

The protest was organised by former weather presenter and Rotorua Labour candidate Tamati Coffey and representatives from the Internet, Mana and Green parties also spoke.

Environmental activist Pete Bethune led chants on a mega-phone such as ''Simon says drill, we say no, save our Maui's dolphins bro.''

People held up dolphin-shaped placards, numbered one to 55, representing the number of Maui's dolphins left.

''There are more National MPs in Parliament than Maui's dolphins on the planet,'' said Coffey, adding that those figures needed to reverse.

Bridges, who had a scheduled sky-dive in Tauranga cancelled, did not make an appearance. He says there is negligible risk to the Maui's dolphin from petroleum activity.

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