A protest march across the Wairoa Bridge has caused traffic delays this morning.
Local Maori are protesting against the signing of a Treaty settlement between the government and a collective of Hauraki iwi that would give them special rights in Tauranga.
A press release from the protest group states for many weeks, the Crown has denied a signing date was set, even after internal emails were intercepted indicating the Crown was secretly organising the signing with Hauraki for July 22.
However, on Friday the Crown admitted the signing is planned to take place on July 22, ‘proving the Crown has been lying to the people of Tauranga Moana’ about their plans regarding the Treaty deal.
Speaking to a reporter at the scene, Tauranga Police Sergeant Wayne Hunter says the highway will be completely closed until all of the protestors are across.
The NZTA estimates the road will be cleared by 11.30am at the latest.