19 Nov 2019

Talks underway for Auckland Council to buy Ihumātao land

From Morning Report, 7:10 am on 19 November 2019

Talks are under way for Auckland Council to buy disputed Ihumātao land in a bid to break a deadlock over a planned housing development.

Sources have told RNZ the Crown is considering loaning money to the council so it can purchase the land from Fletcher Residential, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fletcher Building.

Ihumātao is next to the Ōtuataua Stonefields Historic Reserve in Mangere - home to New Zealand's earliest market gardens and a significant archaeological site on land considered wāhi tapu, or sacred, by local hapū and iwi.

Fletcher Building bought the land in 2014 and some local Māori have been occupying the land for three years in a bid to block its planned housing development.

Tensions rose considerably in July when eviction notices were served.

The Government became involved when the Prime Minister called for a halt to construction and now it seems a resolution is on the horizon.

RNZ political reporter Jo Moir speaks to Corin Dann.