22 Jan 2020

'Kiingi Tuuheitia's work is done' - flag comes down at Ihumātao

12:51 pm on 22 January 2020

The Kiingitanga flag at Ihumātao has come down and Kiingitanga representatives say a positive resolution is expected ahead of Waitangi Day.

Kiingi Tūheitia arrived at Ihumātao this morning after a fence was removed by Fletcher Building yesterday sparking talks that a settlement was close.

Details of a resolution are yet to be confirmed but in a statement this morning, representatives of Kiingi Tūheitia said the King's work is largely concluded with the expectation of a positive resolution ahead of Waitangi Day.

"There's still some work to do, but Kiingitanga is satisfied that now is the time to retrieve the flag from Ihumaatao."

"In essence, Kiingi Tuuheitia's work is done. He has successfully interceded on behalf of his people to find a pathway to a resolution that is outside of the Treaty process."

In the release the Kiingitanga said he acknowledged the patience and hard work of others, particularly Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

"It's been a challenging process and we will be better for it as a people and a nation."

A spokesperson for Kiingi Tūheitia, Rukumoana Schaafhausen, said the resolution to the Ihumātao land dispute would not include funding from Waikato-Tainui.

"The King, as you've heard in the whaikōrero this afternoon, this is his iwi, this is his whānau, this has been his focus over the last six months," she said.

"He is working closely with mana whenua from this area to work through a resolution that does not include compensation or funding from Waikato-Tainui."

Auckland's Mayor Phil Goff said he was confident a resolution would be reached soon.

He said the council had been involved in discussions with the Crown and Kiingitanga, on behalf of mana whenua, to find a long-term resolution to the issues raised at Ihumātao.

He said once a draft agreement was reached by all parties, it would then be subject to final approval by all councillors at the governing body meeting next month.

Construction of 480 homes has been on hold since July after hundreds of protesters occupied the land to stop the development.

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