11 Oct 2020

Green co-leader at Ihumātao: 'They are getting on with it'

12:11 pm on 11 October 2020

Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson is promising to always be an advocate for Ihumātao, but says it is up to the people to decide what a resolution will look like and when that will be.

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Marama Davidson said she has built a connection with Ihumātao which she wants to maintain. Photo: Supplied

The Tāmaki Makaurau candidate visited the site at the weekend, ahead of election day next week.

In 2019, occupiers were delivered an eviction notice at the disputed land at Ihumātao in South Auckland, prompting thousands of people to flock there to support the occupation and halting Fletcher Building's construction plans.

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern vowed that no building will take place at Ihumātao while the government and other parties try to broker a solution - but one is yet to be reached.

Davidson has long been vocal about the need for a resolution.

However during her visit, Davidson would not go as far as to say she was disappointed a resolution has not been met yet.

"I can't feel a sense of disappointment because I don't see the disappointment on them [the people at Ihumātao]. What I do know is that they managed to halt the development they did not agree with and in the meantime they are getting on with it," she said.

Ihumātao occupiers gathered to mark a year since the eviction notice for the disputed land was served, 23 July 2020.

Ihumātao occupiers gathered to mark a year since the eviction notice for the disputed land was served in July. Photo: RNZ / Eden Fusitu'a

She said there needed to be a peaceful resolution, but the people at the site were not waiting on the government.

"They're growing the seedlings, they're wanting to set up self sufficiency, water storage, solar panels. They're just going ahead and doing this stuff and they're at the table discussing that resolution and what that might look like, so I'm feeling really positive about that," she said.

Davidson said she has maintained a connection with what is happening at the site, which is why she wanted to visit.

"I feel that I need to remain informed, so that when I am back in government I can as always be the most informed politician on the ground in this situation," she said.

When asked if she will continue to advocate for the people there she responded "always have and always will be".

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