Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


Ihumatao no Bastion Point, says acting PM Peters

Ihumatao no Bastion Point, says acting PM Peters

By Pattrick Smellie

July 29 (BusinessDesk) - Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters rejects suggestions the protests over historic Maori stonefields at Ihumatao, near Auckland Airport, are today's equivalent to the Bastion Point protest of the mid-1970s, although he does describe the stand-off as a "potential crisis".

Speaking at a post-Cabinet press conference instead of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who is in Tokelau, Peters also insisted the only people with a right to participate in settling the dispute over the land were those who'd "been keeping that land warm over the centuries".

He stopped short of saying the Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL) movement, which has attracted thousands of supporters to camp near the site of a proposed housing development on Maori land at Ihumatao, was illegitimate. The movement is led by Pania Newton, who has ancestral connections to the land.

However, he indicated personal support for kaumatua leading Te Kawerau a Maki (TKAM), a tribal incorporation that was involved in negotiating a settlement with the government in 2014.

The settlement, like all others legislated in the settlement process that has been running for much of the last generation, was intended as 'full and final' compensation for Maori land confiscations in the area. They were part of much larger confiscations throughout the central North Island in the mid-1860s as colonising governments sought to crush the Kingitanga movement.

Today, the Kingitanga officially supports TKAM and its deal with the residential arm of the country's largest construction firm, Fletcher Building, to build 480 houses near the stonefields and to return land to the local Maori owners, or mana whenua.

Peters said there was no role for "outsiders" in the debate over the land's future.

"I’m not saying they’re in the right," he said of TKAM. "Let’s go out and find out if things have been done properly, if the people who are making statements have the authority to speak, have the mana to speak and are not just coming out of leftfield. They don’t belong there.

"Our job is to sort this potential crisis out and we can do that best if we go from a point of view of historic fact and not just the views of some, in cases, as someone who has been associated with Maori land claims for a long long time, some people who have no authority to speak whatsoever."

Peters said that if the government bought the land from Fletcher Building, it risked opening up "a whole lot of Treaty settlements and you've got to ask yourself: is this Moutoa Gardens (a mid-1990s Maori land protest in Whanganui)? Is this Bastion Point? On the law, the facts, the detail and the research, the answer is no."


© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On Betraying The Kurds

The Americans have now callously thrown the Kurds under the bus and created the ideal conditions for Islamic State to mount a comeback – all done so that Donald Trump can brag on the 2020 campaign trail that he brought the US troops home. How is the current fighting likely to proceed? More>>


Expert Comment: Online Voting Won’t Mean More Engagement

“Overseas experience is that online voting tends to be popular with those who are already likely to vote and who have high levels of digital literacy. It does little to help add new people to the voter pool, and this holds even for young voters.”More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Saudis (Not) Getting Away With Murder

On October 2nd last year, the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered inside the Saudi Embassy in Istanbul, by a hit squad of assassins acting on the orders of the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammad bin Salman. More>>

Ellen Rykers on The Dig: Community Conservation – The Solution To The Biodiversity Crisis?

It’s increasingly clear that a government agency alone cannot combat the biodiversity crisis successfully. These grass-roots initiatives are a growing resource in the conservation toolbox. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Saudi Oil Refinery Crisis

So the US and the Saudis claim to have credible evidence that those Weapons of Oil Destruction came from Iran, their current bogey now that Saddam Hussein is no longer available. Evidently, the world has learned nothing from the invasion of Iraq in 2003 when dodgy US intel was wheeled out to justify the invasion of Iraq, thereby giving birth to ISIS and causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. More>>


  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog