April 20, 2021
Payment glitch won’t put Ihumaatao off course
A leader of the Ihumaatao occupation leader says a hiccup over the way the crown acquired the land shouldn’t affect what’s going to happen with it.
The Office of the Auditor General says the Government did not seek the correct approvals when it used $29.9 million from the Land for Housing Programme to purchase the land at Te Puke Tāpapatanga a Hape or Ihumaatao from Fletcher Residential Limited.
That means the payment is unlawful until validated by Parliament.
Pania Newton says it should not change the agreement the Government made with mana whenua.
She says whānau are continuing to grow gardens, work on restoration programmes and share their story with manuhiri, and they still need to hold a larger conversation about what is to be done with the land.
"We've discussed possibly improving the existing housing footprint on this whenua, but there have not been any conversations to my knowledge about new housing development. The only housing development we have discussed in our papakainga have been initiatives driven by individual whānau who want to develop their whenua Māori to meet their kainga needs," Ms Newton.
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