Acting PM Winston Peters has expressed the governments support for the work of the Kīngitanga at Ihumātao.
Mr Peters stated, “We thank Kingi Tūheitia for his work on this, the intention of the Prime Minister in seeking for the work on the land to stop was for the Kīngitanga to play a facilitative role".
Mr Peters spoke of the governments’ recognition of the issues regarding Ihumātao and its’ willingness to be part of the solution.
“We look forward to discussions that involve all parties to find a resolution to these matters”.
The Green Party, reiterated their continued support for those at Ihumātao.
Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson said, “We have stood with the mana whenua kaitiaki since the start and we will continue to be a voice in Government that they can rely on”.
In a press conference today at Ihumātao, the Mākarau Marae spokesperson saw the Kīngitanga statement as added motivation to carry on, and that it was the “best outcome for us that we could have sought from this process.
The Kingitanga, who has been in discussions with both the Government and Mana Whenua about the land dispute at Ihumātao say the land needs to go back to “its rightful owner”.
In a statement, the Kingitanga says “Although the land has remained occupied, mana whenua representatives have engaged in good faith discussions under the cloak of Kiingitanga and have reached a unified position on Ihumaatao.
“Mana whenua agree they want their land returned, so they can make decisions about its future."
“Mana whenua agreed the return of the land is outside of the Treaty of Waitangi settlement process and therefore requires an innovative and modern solution that does not financially disadvantage iwi.”
“It is important that the government prevents any further alienation of the people from their land, while discussions are underway.”
The Kingitanga also said in the statement that Fletchers now need to be reengaged, to facilitate the return of the land.
The statement read “Kiingitanga has conveyed the views of mana whenua to the government and urged it to negotiate with Fletchers for the return of Ihumaatao to its rightful owners.”
More to come.