19 Nov 2019

Jacinda Ardern can't confirm details of Ihumātao negotiations

From Morning Report, 7:45 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.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told Corin Dann the government is working hard to find a solution but she cannot confirm what is being negotiated.

"The only thing I can confirm is since the king and kiingitanga handed to us some of the outcome of their work with mana whenua that we have been working really hard on finding a solution and that's work that's ongoing so I cannot confirm any final resolution, any details around anything beyond the fact that we in fact have remained involved in this issue since July and continue to work hard to find a solution.

"We've got a couple of principles here we are working to. One of course is the will and desire of mana whenua and the other, importantly, is not undermining the treaty ... the third of course is that Fletchers have gone into a development arrangement here in good faith and of course have development interests here too ... and I am confident we will find a way through, but again, I'm not going to speculate."