There is no clear indication yet that an enduring deal to settle the land dispute at Ihumātao is on the horizon, Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges says.
“The land at Ihumātao isn’t leaving Fletcher’s hands without some form of compensation, and that could mean taxpayers end up forking over millions to make this problem go away.
“Whatever deal the Government cuts isn’t going to be the end. In fact, it may just be the beginning because the reality is, any sort of Government interference will call into question full and final treaty settlements.
“The Government buying its way out of this mess isn’t a solution. A treaty settlement, a legal land purchase and a court process should not be undone simply because the Prime Minister made a mistake by halting construction.
“Jacinda Ardern has set an appalling precedent by inserting herself into the business of a private company and preventing it from building 480 much-needed houses.
“The Government should have just told the protestors to go home, and not get involved beyond that.
“If Finance Minister Grant Robertson does end up cutting a big cheque at Ihumātao then he and Jacinda Ardern will have some explaining to do to taxpayers as well as all the other Iwi who trusted the Government’s word when it came to ‘full and final’ treaty settlements.”