11 Aug 2019

Prime Minister should tell Ihumātao protesters to go home - Simon Bridges

7:04 pm on 11 August 2019

National Party leader Simon Bridges says the Prime Minister should tell protesters at Ihumātao to go home.

Simon Bridges.

Simon Bridges objects to the prime minister's intervention in the Ihumātao dispute. Photo: RNZ / Ana Tovey

Mr Bridges said Jacinda Ardern was wrong to intervene in the land dispute, and set an appalling precedent by halting building at the site more than two weeks ago.

He said she runs the risk of reopening full and final Treaty settlements, which he said is incredibly dangerous.

Since Ms Ardern's involvement protesters have been empowered to get aggressive with police who are there to keep the peace, he said.

Mr Bridges earlier said that the prime minister had set a poor precedent by getting involved in the Ihumātao dispute and had made a "bad error of judgement" in doing so.

Ms Ardern said the government supports Māori finding a solution to the dispute.

Police last week said they would minimise their presence at Ihumātao, following a tense standoff on Monday night between police and mana whenua, who oppose the Māngere site being developed for housing.