Skepticism over Government’s olive branch at Auckland’s Ihumātao protest site
Ihumātao protesters are skeptical over Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s assurance that construction will stop until their voice is heard.
Ardern made the announcement on Friday, saying the Government would step in to help broker talks over the disputed land in Auckland’s Mangere, working with mana whenua and Fletcher Building.
Protest leader Pania Newton from Save Our Unique Landscape (Soul) said it was disappointing to hear Ardern had organised a hui without the Soul activists.
On Sunday, the marae was still debating if members would meet with Tāmaki Makaurau MP Peeni Henare and Employment Minister Willie Jackson, who arrived on site on Saturday to extend a branch of peace.
“We will debate on whether we will meet with them or not,” Newton said.
Soul was calling on the Government to intervene to prevent confrontation but Newton said did not know if she should trust Ardern’s statement that construction had been paused.
“We don’t know that for sure [if construction will stop], that’s just what they’ve said. We haven’t been consulted with,” she said.
“We need to sit at the table.”
Meanwhile the cops are serenading them in an act of defiance of Cindy and her stupid announcement.