December 17, 2020
Everything on the table as Ihumatao solution sought
A Kiingitanga spokesperson says the crown’s purchase of a disputed block at Ihumātao is just one step towards trying to find a resolution of a 150-year grievance.
The Government yesterday announced it was paying Fletcher Building $29.9 million for the so-called Wallace Block, which the company was blocked from developing when it was occupied 18 months ago.
Rahui Papa says the fate of the land is now in the hands of a Rōpu Whakahaere steering group consisting of three ahi kaa representatives, one from the Kingitanga and two from the crown, which will discuss what can be done with it.
"When we are talking issues around the table, ownership will be one, what will happen on the whenua, if there is going to be a reserve if there is going to be housing, but nothing is off the table until we take it off the table," he says.
Meanwhile, a member of Save Our Unique Landscape group occupying the Otuataua Rd site says now the Fletcher development has been stopped, the emphasis can turn to getting the land back for mana whenua.
Qiane Matata-Sipu says the fact the Rōpu Whakahaere will have a majority of Māori members means the conversation can be based on Māori values and outcomes.
"This would be a much better process than having to accommodate somebody's plan, which was Fletchers' plan they already had in place and asked us to accommodate, whereas this one, we get to look at the whenua as a whole from scratch and finally have an opportunity to dream as a whānau what might happen to it, if anything," she says.
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