Aotearoa/New Zealand, the first country in the world where women had the right to vote, was proud to be the first country in the world to March on January 21, 2017. About 5000 people marched in four cities – Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, where each march was organised in 3 weeks or less. Where people couldn’t travel to Marches, they held their own. In the small west coast town of Okarito eight of the settlement’s population of 22 marched. While in Nelson, one woman stood in solidarity with her sign.
The Marches around Aotearoa/New Zealand were a mix of Māori and Pakeha New Zealanders, Pasifika and Asian, tourists and locals, LGBTQ+ and cisgender, and babies to seniors. While each person marched for their own reasons, the songs, speeches, chants, and signs focused on themes such as pay equity, addressing violence against women, raising the refugee quota and promoting environmental justice.
Our Marches, big and small, were a manifestation of the Māori saying: He waka eke noa – We’re all in this together.