Will Judith Collins as the new National Party leader support the agreement between Te Kawerau a Maki and Fletchers to proceed with housing at Ihumatao, Hobson’s Pledge spokesperson Casey Costello said today.
“Now is the time for the National Party to step up and both support private property rights and emphasise that Treaty settlements should be full and final,” Ms Costello said.
“Land at Ihumatao has been sold, confiscated, granted to settlers, complained about, been subject to a number of Treaty settlements, a land occupation, and put into limbo by Prime Ministerial indecision,” Ms Costello said.
Te Kawerau a Maki received $6.5 million in 2015 to settle historical claims against the Government related to that land, and then entered an agreement in which Fletchers would give the tribe 40 homes.
Other groups with grievances to do with that area have gone through and are going through the Treaty settlement process.
A protest group Save Our Unique Landscape started a land occupation in 2016, which came to a head last July when Fletchers served eviction notices.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern complicated the dispute a year ago when she got involved in the dispute and announced a halt on building until an agreement was reached.
“The Ihumatao protest shows that it does not matter with whom negotiations are entered into as the risk will remain that a younger, more organised and externally funded lobby group can be established to override any agreements reached by Maori, developers and private land owners”, she said.
As an election looms, now is the time for Judith Collins to be clear that a National-led government would support the agreement between Te Kawerau a Maki and Fletchers to proceed with building housing at Ihumatao, and that housing should proceed,” Ms Costello asked.
Casey Costello 027 532 4959