April 21, 2021
Ihumaatao glitch cleared up
Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson says the unlawful funding for the purchase of land at Ihumaatao was a minor technical glitch which has already been fixed up.
In response to questions from the National and ACT parties, the Auditor General found the use of $29.9 million from the Land for Housing fund to buy out Fletcher Residential was made without the correct approvals.
Mr Jackson says the mistake was made by the Ministry for Housing and Urban Development and wasn’t immediately picked up before Cabinet signed off on the deal.
"And that's because the briefing paper which (the ministry) sought minsters' approval to the purchase was missing two imprest supply recommendations that would formally authorise payment and it has all been rectified and it was sort of outside the scope for four weeks and then it was fixed," he says.
Mr Jackson says the Opposition is whipping up the issue as a distraction from their own problems.
Meanwhile, Maori Party co-leader Debbie Ngarewa Packer says the Government created a problem for itself by trying to resolve the Ihumatao stand-off outside the treaty settlement framework.
She says it would have been easier to admit it was stolen land.
And had they gone through a proper process that admitted that we wouldn't be in this mess, so they have cut corners, gone left, right and centre to get where everyone knows is the right place to end, but the reality is it is stolen land," she says.
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