3 Aug 2019

Kiingitanga flag raised at Ihumātao

7:23 pm on 3 August 2019

Kiingi Tuheitia has formally invited all mana whenua to meet at Hopuhopu to find a solution over the contentious development at Ihumātao.

Kiingi Tuheitia making his annual speech at Turangawaewae in August 2016

Kiingi Tūheitia was welcomed at Ihumātao this morning. Photo: RNZ / Shannon Haunui-Thompson

The Kiingitanga was set to receive eight hectares from Fletchers as part of the development and has previously supported it.

However a spokesperson, Rukumoana Schaafhausen, wouldn't be drawn on their position, and say they now want to find a solution for all mana whenua.

"That is why the Kiingitanga is here. We heard about the raupatu in 1863 and mana whenua are saying to us and the King has heard, Auckland has benefited from the whenua that was gifted by their tupuna. Enough is enough. They are asking Kiingitanga to come in today to support them find a way forward and that is the focus."

The Kiingitanga wants to hold the hui before the koroneihana festivities on 14 August.

The meeting will not include the Government or Fletchers.

A group is occupying the land near the small settlement of Ihumātao to protest against a housing development planned by Fletcher Building.

Nine busloads of people as part of the Kiingitanga contingent were welcomed at Ihumātao this morning.

A spokesperson for Kiingi Tūheitia talked about wanting to move forward to find a solution, and the significance of Ihumātao to the Kiingitanga.

It is where the first Māori king, Pōtatau Te Wherowhero, received his title.

The King has raised the Kiingitanga flag just outside the main tent which is on the front line.

A Kiingitanga spokesperson says the flag will stay at Ihumātao and be returned to the King once a resolution has been reached at this whenua.

When the King's visit was announced earlier this week, it was welcomed by those occupying the land who said it was a massive deal and a sign that things might be moving a little faster.

The King has said that he hopes his visit can help to find a resolution to the protracted dispute.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs