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Mike Yardley: Jacinda Ardern is playing a very dangerous game with Ihumatao dispute - The Mike Hosking Breakfast

The Mike Hosking Breakfast

Well another veil of secrecy shrouds the government’s intentions on Ihumatao. But it increasingly looks like a sure bet, the Crown cheque book has been opened, to buy the land off Fletchers.
What a travesty.
And why are we being deliberately left in the dark, with the Prime Minister refusing to even confirm whether the matter was on Cabinet’s agenda yesterday – let alone one of their favourite phrases, next steps. The furtiveness fuels the dismay.
Fletchers acted in good faith when they this bought this private land for housing. Over four hundred houses. The council and government of the day fully supported designating it a Special Housing Area. A deal’s a deal.
And now we have a weak-kneed government subjugating themselves to a disgruntled bunch of protestors. Some of them have been occupying this land for four years. This is not the rule of law in action.
And by acceding to their demands, on private land, what wayward, divisive and revisionist forces is this gross capitulation going to usher in?
Is any and all private land potentially now at risk, at the whim of militant occupiers who decide they want it back and will squat on it until the Crown blinks first and squanders your money on a buy-up.
How does any of this respect the integrity and the parameters of the legally binding Treaty Settlement process?
Caving in on Ihumatao raises the stakes of unleashing a whole new arm of the grievance industry – private land. And the undermining of private property rights. This is a breach of public faith.
What a hornet’s nest the benevolent one could be unleashing with this intervention. This meddling.
If I was a squatter, digging in for the long-haul at Shelley Bay, I would be feeling very emboldened.
But back to Ihumatao. If the iwi really want this land back so badly, the Kingitanga and the Waikato-Tainui should have the good grace to offer a fair market price to purchase it. Why should we be the mugs that have to end up carrying the can?
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