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‘Original Sin’ of Land Confiscation at Ihumātao is a wrong

‘Original Sin’ of Land Confiscation at Ihumātao is a wrong that can be put right by Government says Justice & Peace Commission of Catholic Diocese of Auckland

Following the protest hīkoi to Prime Minister’s electorate, the Justice and Peace Commission of the Catholic Diocese of Auckland has come out urging the Government to take immediate steps to rectify the grave injustice it committed in 1863 when it confiscated Ihumātao.

“When you go back to what some in the media are saying is ‘the original sin’ – the Government confiscated the land in the first place, so the Government has a responsibility to restore it,” says Ka Sing Yeung, Chair of the Justice and Peace Commission.

The Commission believes that Government has the option to purchase the disputed land at Ihumātao and work alongside mana whenua to reach a long term solution.

“We encourage Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to walk on the whenua at Ihumātao like many have already to listen to whanau then stand up, and make the courage call to protect this sacred site of national significance.”

“The Prime Minister’s leadership is being called on by the nation now to reach a principled solution, and we are confident that she has the power to do so - should she choose,” says Yeung.

The Government's decision to halt all construction at Ihumātao is a sensible first step according to the Commission. So is the invitation to come together to find a solution by all stakeholders including Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL).

The Commission’s mandate as a social justice advocate upholds the rights of indigenous people and honouring of the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, signed to ensure Māori received the "full exclusive and undisturbed possession of their lands" (Article 2, English version).

In addition to corresponding with the Prime Minister, The commission has also written to the Mayor of Auckland, Phil Goff and Councillors of the Auckland City Council encouraging them to play a positive role in achieving a just solution at Ihumātao.

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