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Ihumātao: Today’s Nationwide Day of Action

Written By: - Date published: 12:59 am, August 6th, 2019 - 188 comments
Categories: activism, Maori Issues, police - Tags:

Yesterday evening police suddenly increased their numbers at Ihumātao and proceeded to block some of the land protectors in place and isolate them from others on the site. SOUL put out a call for people to come to the land and protect it, and they came. Numbers of people on the land increased over the evening and after several hours of tension and rumours flying, organisers negotiated for the police to de-escalate. The reason for the police escalation remains unclear.

The general feeling seems to be that despite the agreement for Fletchers to stop the build so everyone involved can kōrero, the protection needs to remain strong and consistent at the land and with support across the country.

For those that can make it there are a planned set of actions taking place across NZ today. Other ways we can support Protect Ihumātao are here.

Update: If you would like to know more about why SOUL are protecting Ihumātao and what they want, start here.


188 comments on “Ihumātao: Today’s Nationwide Day of Action ”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    Outside a tiny echo chamber no one cares. The usual constitutional peasants will show up and tell us we are living in an autocracy.

    Most NZers simply regard this as a inter-Maori squabble with one side wrapping itself in the self-righteous sanctimony of the certain.

    No one is talking about it.

    • A 1.1

      Nobody except the news media, social media…

      • Rapunzel 1.1.1

        That's the problem, all the stirring, they will be loving it and that stands in the way of commonsense even having a chance or proper dialogue. Lots of issues that need to be aired are being sidelined while the media and the couch "experts" turn everything into a side-show.

      • James 1.1.2

        Jacinda isn’t talking about it. Heck her staff are threatening media if they even asked her about it.

        • Rapunzel

          Didn't you read the bit where I mentioned "commonsense"? No country should be held to ransom when it's led by media stirring, the most important thing is the outcome to NZ.

        • veutoviper

          Stop bullshitting, James. Yesterday afternoon at her post-Cabinet press conference, the Prime Minister took a number of questions about Ihumātao – "the possibility of her visiting the occupation, the presence of police guns at the site, and work towards a resolution" – as outlined in the Scoop link below which includes the full video of the press conference.


          I really like to read a range of views on blogs such as this including those from Right wingers, but you deserve the flack you get when you put up BS such as this without checking the facts. Also see 3.1 below.

          And FFS – I have just noticed that even Scoop cannot spell the current* name of the place correctly and has it as "Ihumāto". [Head meets desk.]

          * "Current" name is especially for you, Dukeofurl. LOL

          • Dukeofurl

            Spell checker updated.

            I was looking back at yesterdays post headline to see if had it correct and that was wrong as you made pains to point out.

            Even Geographic Board got it wrong yesterday when they added a macron to Ohakune to make an official new version.

            My 'Williams' Maori dictionary has multiple spellings of many words, different iwi having their own thing often.

            • veutoviper

              Cheers. In case you didn't see it, this morning I also popped a reply back to you re living place names etc on the earlier Arnhem etc post as per this link https://thestandard.org.nz/arnhem-land-and-ihumutao/#comment-1643519

            • weka

              Updating spellcheckers is a good idea. Did you do that for your browser? I had assumed TS/Wordpress was overriding my browser generally.

              Veutoviper, you can use Ihumaatao if you can't do macrons.

              • veutoviper

                True re the double a. I just prefer macrons, including the French one- LOL. Just kidding. I don't seem to be able to use my spell checker. Can't figure out whether it is me or my browser etc … But I rarely comment here these days and currently probably just passing through. Too many videos, off topic responses/comments, personal insults, sanctimonious lectures etc leading to OOS from scrolling past etc; plus departures of many people I enjoyed reading and interacting with, eg longtermers like Redlogix, TRP, skinny just to name a few.

              • lprent

                There is a spellchecker in the posts, but not (as far as I am aware) in the comment box. There might be a right click spell option, but generally the javascript editors just let the browser control when you’re typing..

                • xanthe

                  my mint (debian based) has a wonderful system wide spell check BUT does not work inside a TS comment box … perhaps something to do with a change to how right click is handled ? or rather misspellings do get the red underline but the dictionary is not available

                • weka

                  I noticed last night that post editor was using American spelling. Is that new?

        • weka

          James, pull your head in. If you tell lies like that again I will start moderating. It's been a while but you know me well enough to know that sort of shit stirring won't work under my posts.

    • michelle 1.2

      Bullhsit Sanctuary pakeha might not be talking about Ihumatao but this issue and the cyfs/OT issue along with recent research released has given our people a new lease of life and our people are thinking about our land, our health, our education, our tamariki and our future in our country that is nicer to foreigners. Our Maori people have had enough of being treated like shit and now is the time before the pending elections to take a stand and fight for everything.

      • marty mars 1.2.1

        So true – good words

      • Shadrach 1.2.2

        Which 'Maori' people are you speaking for?

        The Maori who legally sold the land to Fletchers? The Maori who will benefit from the affordable housing proposed for the site? The Maori who will benefit from the gift of a buffer zone to preserve some of the natural landscape?

        Or are you in fact actually speaking for yourself?

        • JohnP

          The family who sold the land to Fletchers weren't Maori bro.

          • Shadrach


            [Please quote the bit that says that the Wallaces who owned the land sold to Fletchers are Māori. Don’t expect people to trawl a whole article to see what you meant. – weka]

            • weka

              moderation note for you above Shadrach.

            • Shadrach

              The article didn't say that, and I never claimed it did. In fact I never mentioned the Wallace family at all. The article states the following about ownership:

              1863: The land at Ihumātao was taken 'by proclamation' during the invasion of the Waikato, according to SOUL.

              It was confiscated under the New Zealand Settlements Act, thus breaching the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi agreement.

              Historically the land was believed to be occupied by Waikato-Tainui, Ngāti Whatua, and groups connected to Waikato-Tainui (Ngāti Tamaoho, Te Ahiwaru, Ngāti Tai Tāmaki, Ngāti Te Ata, Te Ākitai Waiohua, and Te Kawerau ā Maki).

              1867: The land was acquired by Crown grant.


              February 2014: Te Kawerau ā Maki and the Crown signed a Deed of Settlement at Makaurau Marae in Māngere.

              "Te Kawerau a Maki are the tangata whenua (people of the land) of Waitakere City, who hold customary authority or manawhenua within the city. "


              • weka

                What did you mean when you said this above? (at 1.59pm).

                "The Maori who legally sold the land to Fletchers?"

                • Shadrach

                  February 2014: Te Kawerau ā Maki and the Crown signed a Deed of Settlement at Makaurau Marae in Māngere.

                  The full details of that settlement are available at https://www.govt.nz/treaty-settlement-documents/te-kawerau-a-maki/.

                  The Crown were found to have breached the Treaty principles. The apology, cultural and financial redress are set out in the document I have linked to above.

                  This Deed is the full and final settlement of all historic claims of the Iwi, including any claim over what is private land at Ihumatao.

                  On reflection, my comment about Maori having legally 'sold' the land to Fletchers was clumsy, which is why I linked to the ODT piece as my response to John. However, my point stands. The area of Ihumatao where Fletchers propose to build affordable housing is private land, and Fletchers purchased that land subject to having free title by way of the Iwi relinquishing any claim to it as part of their Treaty settlement, for which they received significant consideration/compensation. That is the law, pure and simple, and it applies to both Maori and non-Maori.

                  • weka

                    So you agree that Māori never sold the land?

                    This is important, because from what I understand TKAM fought against the development for a long time, and only did a deal with Fletchers because there was no other way to get any kind of protection for the land.

                    Also, afaik Iwi have no choice about privately owned land, it's off limits for Treaty settlements.

                    • Shadrach

                      Yes in addressing my objection to Michelle my use of the language of 'sold' was clumsy. However Maori (TKAM specifically) did cede any rights to the land by the Deed of Settlement, and in exchange received considerable recompense. I can't see what the protestors hope to achieve that maintains respect for private property rights (rights that the Treaty settlements seek to redress for Maori), unless they can do a deal to purchase the land back off Fletchers.

                    • weka

                      TKAM aren't the only Iwi with connections to that land. I personally don't believe that private property rights trump everything else. People are more important. Especially in this situation where the authorities fucked up by allowing the SHA.

                    • Shadrach

                      "People are more important."

                      The two are closely connected. Private property rights are held by people. They are part of what holds a civilised society together. For example, without such rights, one person or group can simply take over use/ownership of another's possessions, be they land, money, equipment, whatever. (And yes there is a deliberate angle in that comment that references the seizure of Maori land by the Crown). If these rights don't exist, then the land given to TKAM as part of the Treaty settlement is 'up for grabs', which would simply be injustice upon injustice.

                      "TKAM aren't the only Iwi with connections to that land."

                      That may be the case, but the ToW Tribunal and the Crown only recognise the claim of TKAM. You may disagree with that, but if these decisions are not made there will never be resolution if these matters.

                    • weka

                      Many societies have had different ways of sharing land that haven't involved private property rights. But I wasn't suggesting doing away with them. I was saying that even by Pākehā values, property rights don't have to override the wellbeing of people.

                    • Shadrach

                      "Many societies have had different ways of sharing land that haven't involved private property rights."

                      Yes, but likewise societies have also gone to war over disputed land.

                      "I was saying that even by Pākehā values, property rights don't have to override the wellbeing of people."

                      I agree. I'm not sure, however, how the wellbeing of any people is being over-ridden by the resolution at Ihumatao.

                    • weka

                      "Yes, but likewise societies have also gone to war over disputed land."

                      I don't think those things are connected in the way you may be implying. Societies with private ownership also go to war over land/resources.

                      Māori clearly are not going to war over Ihumātao, and have other tools in their kete.

                      "I'm not sure, however, how the wellbeing of any people is being over-ridden by the resolution at Ihumatao."

                      Quite a few Māori say it is. It's a values thing to my mind. The Crown unilaterally imposed a set of conditions over time and used their power in unfair ways, and that was based in a set of values not held by the Iwi affected. That the Crown still treats its Treaty partners in this way suggests that the Crown is not the best arbiter of what constitutes wellbeing. It's a fairly basic principle that people get to define what their wellbeing is.

                    • Shadrach

                      "It's a fairly basic principle that people get to define what their wellbeing is."

                      Isn't that precisely what Maori are achieving via Treaty settlements?

                    • weka

                      The Treaty process was created by the Crown, and suits the Crown agenda. Māori played a part in that, but they weren't equal partners in the process. How is that fair? How would that ever lead to good outcomes for Māori in terms of them defining what wellbeing is for themselves?

                    • Shadrach

                      "Māori played a part in that, but they weren't equal partners in the process."

                      I disagree. In fact I would argue that Maori are significantly advantaged by the process. For example, the ToWT hears claims with virtually no Crown representation. It is not a true 'Court' in the sense of both sides of history being aired. Another example is that compensation for grievances is substantial, and can be adjusted as other claims are settled. I'm unaware of any other such process in the world. And yet another – no account is taken for the benefits to Maori of colonisation.

                      "How would that ever lead to good outcomes for Māori in terms of them defining what wellbeing is for themselves?"

                      Maori are being 'given' substantial resources to determine their own future. The process allows Maori to set their own agenda for how those resources are used. The ball is in their court.

                    • weka

                      I wasn't referring to the processes now used, I was talking about who set up the process. Afaik, Māori weren't equal partners in that. I think the Crown also mandated the legal structures that Iwi had to use. Later the full and final thing was imposed by government. The processes we have were set up by the colonial government, not by Māori.

                    • Shadrach

                      "I wasn't referring to the processes now used, I was talking about who set up the process. Afaik, Māori weren't equal partners in that. I think the Crown also mandated the legal structures that Iwi had to use. Later the full and final thing was imposed by government. The processes we have were set up by the colonial government, not by Māori."

                      Of course the process was established by the Crown, there is no other way it could have happened. The Treaty partner of Maori was the Crown. It is only the Crown who is able to make recompense for past injustices. But from the outset Maori were heavily involved in the composition and processes of the Tribunal. The person credited for establishing the Tribunal was Mat Rata. The Tribunal is funded by Government, as are the claimants legal fees (AFAIK). The chairperson of the Waitangi Tribunal is Chief Judge Wilson Isaac of the Māori Land Court. The deputy chairperson of the Waitangi Tribunal is Deputy Judge Patrick Savage of the Māori Land Court. Around half of the members of the Tribunal are Maori (https://waitangitribunal.govt.nz/about-waitangi-tribunal/members-of-the-waitangi-tribunal/).

                      I really challenge you to point to a fairer, more just system deployed anywhere else in the world to manage what are often complex claims.

                    • weka

                      Why couldn't Māori and the Crown have set up the processes?

                      I don't know if there are better examples worldwide, but that doesn't mean we can't be the first.

                    • Shadrach

                      "Why couldn't Māori and the Crown have set up the processes?"

                      Because the Crown (as represented in the form of the NZ Government) is the ruling authority in NZ. For the process to have it's own authority and standing, the Crown had to be seen to take a lead.

                      But Maori were actively and intimately involved. The process was never going to be perfect, in part because Maori cannot always agree among themselves on things (witness Ihumatao). But I'm yet to see anyone make a reasonable suggestion of how we could have significantly improved the process.

        • michelle

          divide and conquer doesn't work on me

          • Shadrach

            Your comment above reeks of division.

            • marty mars

              bullshit – you are just too myopic to see anything other than your own dismal brilliance – try opening the other eye bubby

              • Shadrach

                Do you think that a single person assuming to speak for all Maori, and making comments such as "Our Maori people have had enough of being treated like shit…" do not reek of division? Or trying to make the OT issue a Maori issue?

                • marty mars

                  who are you speaking for?

                  what you fail to get is that a Māori voice is a Māori voice and that is that

                  your types always divide because you are so weak and useless – not going to work nobby

                  • Shadrach

                    A single Maori voice does not speak for all Maori. There are a variety of Maori opinions about the two issue, Ihumatao and OT. For any one commentator to claim to speak for 'Maori' as 'our people' is the height of arrogance.

                    • marty mars

                      "…pakeha might not be talking about Ihumatao but this issue and the cyfs/OT issue along with recent research released has given our people a new lease of life and our people are thinking about our land, our health, our education, our tamariki and our future in our country that is nicer to foreigners. Our Maori people have had enough of being treated like shit and now is the time before the pending elections to take a stand and fight for everything."

                      That is the full quote and it is correct imo – oh look that is two Māori that agree and if we went to the front lines there would be thousands of others who agree and around the country even more thousands that would agree. It is actually a pretty mainstream Māori view where I come from so you really are just talking rubbish as usual.Sharpen up tool.

                    • Shadrach

                      "It is actually a pretty mainstream Māori view…"

                      Not amongst Maori I know and connect with. Michelle is perfectly entitled to speak for herself, but when she uses expressions such as 'our people' she goes beyond that and pretends to speak for Maori generally.

                    • marty mars

                      yeah nah – you are being a deliberate idiot

                    • Shadrach

                      "yeah nah – you are being a deliberate idiot"

                      Are you seriously suggesting that all Maori back the protestors at Ihumatao? That all Maori are opposed to OT removing children from dangerous situations?

                    • weka

                      Come on Shadrach. Everyone knows that when people make generalised statements they're not being literal. No-one here thinks that Michelle believes she knows what every single Māori person thinks. Give it a rest, you've made your point.

  2. A 2

    Who was it in the National Party that signed off on this as a special housing area??

    I’d like to think that things can be peacefully resolved but I’m guessing that sabotage of equipment, burning of houses etc might be the way it goes. Even if I didn’t think Maori should have the land back – it was stolen after all, no way in hell I’d buy there.

  3. JohnP 4

    Pania Newton is made of some good strong stuff, and it's a credit to her leadership and mana that last night did not get out of hand.

  4. Dukeofurl 5

    What happened to the Ihumateo- Arnhem post from yesterday. Its it usual for something to disappear later in the day like that ?

    • lprent 5.1

      Its it usual for something to disappear later in the day like that ?

      Nope. Got caught (somehow) in a cron sweep cleaning out old RSS posts, while the RSS plugin was being updated. The plugin as you can see on the feeds on the right isn't working properly. Working with the author to get it back to normal.

      After MS texted me, I looked in the logs found what had happened and when I next had some time, eventually recovered both the post and comments from a backup.

      Lost up to 15 minutes of comments in that post. I will be checking this morning if there were any actually lost.

      • veutoviper 5.1.1

        IIRC Wayne had put up a comment on it just before the whole post etc disappeared. That one seems to have disappeared completely and there may be more. Wayne's comment caught my interest because he (politely) queried what point(s) Ad was trying to make in the post.

        • lprent

          I just finished looking at that 15 minutes. Unfortunately I didn't have the binary log turned on because I'm not replicating the db anymore – no point since it has a viable hourly backup.

          So that 15 minutes is toast unless someone took a image.

          • veutoviper

            Thanks lprent – I really was not meaning that I thought it was important to recover those comments, but just though I would mention what I recalled. Probably better lost as things were getting a bit heated, LOL and I think Wayne has basically repeated his comment etc here today. But again thanks.

  5. Chris T 6

    Forgive my ignorance, but what do the SOUL people actually want as an outcome?

    Is it turning it into a park or something, which means Iwi don't get their land back to build some houses for their young people?

    • Sanctuary 6.1

      The end game here is an attempt by Maori radicals to completely upend the basis of the Pakeha-Maori accord that underpins the entire treaty process by demanding private land now be put on the table for treaty settlements.

      This is an attack on the entire economic foundations of the NZ state – there is simply no way the vast majority of New Zealanders (let alone the capitalist ruling class) will countenance an attack on the sanctity of private property.

      Remember, treaty settlements we sold to Pakeha as being be full and final. If private land is now suddenly supposed to be on the table then EVERY treaty settlement since the first one is back on the table. It would be like ripping a bandage of a healing wound, and the backlash will make Don Brash's Orewa speech look like a kindergarden cake fight.

      The consequences of Maori activists trying to follow thorough on such ridiculous (ridiculous because they are utterly fantasy) and unrealistic demands will be catastrophic for New Zealand as a whole should it gain any credence.

      • Sacha 6.1.1

        I doubt that applies to SOUL themselves, though it is certainly a larger picture driving the situation on all sides.

      • Pat 6.1.2

        and is probably about the only thing that could cost the Gov the next election

        • Dennis Frank

          Which would be why Nat-leaning cops in the police hierarchy found a pretext to escalate hostilities last night…

          • Pat

            Doubt that…think the given explanation likely the accurate one in this instance….however whether this is by design or an unfortunate untimely event matters not really but we can be sure it will be exploited.

      • JohnP 6.1.3

        Hell yeah this rules.

      • vto 6.1.4

        Yep and that is exactly what those who are watching quietly from the wings have their eyes on…

        such would indeed be catastrophic I agree

      • Jenny - How to Get there? 6.1.5

        Hi Sanctuary, Couldn't help but see the glaring contradiction in your statement.

        ridiculous…. fantasy…. unrealistic….. followed by, …..should it gain any credence.

        If their claims were ridiculous, fantasy, or unrealistic, as you claim, they wouldn't gain any credence.

        That their claims are 'ridiculous', 'fantasy' and 'unrealistic' sounds more like wishful thinking on your part.

        To label their claims as ridiculous and fantasy is a subjective assessment.

        As for their demands being unrealistic, the demand by protesters to return of Bastion Point to Ngati Whatua ownership was once considered "unrealistic".

        The facts on the ground decided otherwise.

        Just as they will this time.

        No matter how much Fletcher might want it, this is not Hong Kong, the police and the government are not about to launch a massive violent attack to remove the protesters. Fletchers will never build on this land. It is time that Fletchers accepted this fact and tried to get the best deal they can to extricate themselves from this dispute.

    • michelle 6.2

      stop shit stirring chris

      • Chris T 6.2.1

        I'm not

        The actual lawfully recognised Iwi leaders want the 40 houses opportunity, and have agreed to the 25% gift of the bit of land which is actually important back to the Iwi.

        This Soul lot don't seem to say wtf they want done with it.

        It doesn't look like the govt are going to buy it back for them as it would be political suicide.

    • Anne 6.3

      That was a good question from Chris T. He's not the only one having trouble trying to understand the rationale behind the protest.

      And Sanctuary's answer is interesting. I'll wait a little longer before passing judgement.

  6. JohnP 7

    Ardern on TV urging the protesters to remain peaceful, like that hasn't been the kaupapa from the beginning. The PM is absolutely ham-handing this one, and it's going to come back round at the election.

    • James 7.1

      its just one of so many things that will come back to haunt her at election time

      She might be a bit busy for too much time on this today however.

      • Dukeofurl 7.1.1

        Labour has its maori Mps , including deputy leader working with the various parties directly.

        Why would she want this all done in public to satisfy some 'whataboutism' and concern trolling

        • Rapunzel

          Exactly, why? After Sept 2017 when Winston was considering his thoughts they all stayed away from the media and funnily the media to a degree kept their distance, it appeared to work well. I wouild have left it like that and kept them at arms length instead of being pushed for answers that were not yet fully formed.

          • JohnP

            In fairness Labour and National weren't being surrounded by the cops while Winston decided what to do, although that could work.

            • Rapunzel

              In fairness? Yeah right. By any name, I get it now.

              • Dukeofurl

                The cops are there because the land owner Fletcher AND Te Kawerau a maki asked them to. Was it because the 'occupiers' prevented surveyors or something from starting work ?

                • Rapunzel

                  Was it? It was reported that all work had stopped. I imagined that conditions and time passing was playing on people moods and nerves, it would mine.

                  • weka

                    Afaik there is no work being done by Fletchers on the land.

                    My guess is that the police were trying to scare the protectors off part of the land they occupied on the weekend. I also think that while Fletchers have said wait on the building for now, the police will be under instruction to not let the occupation spread and to keep the pressure on so that if an eventual eviction happens the police will have already established themselves as a force there.

                    People who support SOUL need to be aware that the intention of the police is to remove them (the eviction notice is still in place) and they will be planning and acting accordingly. That's my reading. If Ardern, or the police, thought the negotiations were going to mean a lessening of protection, last night taught them otherwise. Those of us outside offering support need to keep our energy engaged at that level and not get complacent that the negotiations are going to make the whole thing go away.

                    • Rapunzel

                      Well good luck, some of us are not informed enough to say other than hopefully it is resolved – I am so ill-informed that I would not even know "which side to take" and there will be some like that and some that only wish "ill" of this for their own purposes. It is a protest, I have seen plenty in my time and discomfort both physical and mental is part of that.

                      It won;t help resolve any issue if media and those with ill intent and vested interests are allowed to agitate this in a way that stops any possible resolution, that's my concern.

                    • weka

                      Sorry, who is agitating?

                    • Rapunzel

                      Who's agitating? The media and those who see some advantage in trouble instead of hoping for an outcome acceptable to those closest to the issue and who know more than the average person about what is happneing and what is at stake. That's who from my admittedly limited perspective.

            • michelle

              To be fair i didn't see any cops arresting the Taranaki farmers when they drove their tractor up parliament stairs oh! thats right they only carry guns to Maori protests our farmers can do what they like they are the privileged ones.

  7. Paul Campbell 8

    Weka: we discussed possible police cell phone jamming on twitter … what was the actual evidence?

    • Dukeofurl 8.1

      Likely just a local overload due the the numbers of people making simultaneous calls. ( video would impact that too) The area is a bit out of high usage coverage like the airport would have

      A check of Sparks coverage area shows its 'limited' coverage


    • weka 8.2

      Hi Paul, I don't know. What I saw last night was people at Ihumātao speculating online that it was happening because of the sudden change in something with various tech. Then people on social media from outside also started commenting (the main SOUL livestream was good for ages then got really choppy). Then the discussions on twitter about what might be happening.

      I think it's likely it was cell tower overload and maybe issues with FB livestreaming (didn't see the IG ones). But given what the police were doing and its general similarity with overseas police actions I can understand why people wondered if it was cause by the police.

      I hope police PR/comms learn from this, but in a good way not in a how can we use this against SOUL way. Afaik we don't know why the escalation happened (my guess is they were trying to push protectors back from land gained over the weekend), but these kinds of operations especially without any real communication from police to the public are going to generate a lot of activity on social media, including speculation, and of course bring people to the site. Last night broke trust of the police and a lot of people were watching.

      I appreciated the tech convos. I think we need to get that one clear. What does jamming look like on the ground and on social media? That way people can be more clear about what they need to do. As Pania Newton said this morning, the way police escalated created a bit of fear and panic. Having good information at such times will help.

  8. Gosman 9

    What exactly are the protesters wanting to happen? Do they want the land returned to the local Iwi (the one that was involved in the development) or do they want either the Government or the Local council to purchase the land and make it a reserve (in which case it become public land and becomes even less productive than when it was farmland)?

    • Dukeofurl 9.1

      That the whenua is returned to mana whenua to be held for the benefit of all the people of Aotearoa to enjoy as an open, green, historic reserve. We want to see this whenua included in the Ōtuataua Stonefields Historic Reserve.


      • Gosman 9.1.1

        If it is returned to the Mana Whenua then doesn't that become part of the Settlement that was signed with the Iwi?

        • weka

          Is the only way Māori can ever have title on their land via Treaty settlements? Is the only way mana whenua can be reunited with their land via direct Crown defined ownership by Iwi?

          • Enough is Enough

            For so long as we live under the current political system, then the answer to that question is a clear yes.

            We need to be moving towards a power sharing system between the Crown and Maori.

            The Northern Ireland power sharing model is far from perfect, but is an example of a system where two peoples govern together. It took a bloody armed struggle to get to that point, but shows what can happen.

            • Gosman

              In the Northern Ireland example the populations are close to being evenly split. That is not the case in NZ.

          • Gosman

            I believe that is the case yes.

  9. michelle 10

    Its all about production to you aye goooseman

    • Gosman 10.1

      Not particularly. If you want to turn it in to a reserve then the Council should have purchased it when it was for sale and then turned it in to a reserve. They could still do that if they decided to buy it from the developers.

      • Dukeofurl 10.1.1

        It seemed to be part of the background in 2000 when Manukau City Council bought the mountain and stonefields for a reserve. I think there was legal action which the Council lost over the current site designation.

  10. Adrian Thornton 11

    And let this be a lesson to the Left, the pigs will always and every time come down on the side of the state..which is why I could never understand there was even a debate about them being allowed to wear their uniforms in the Pride Parade, even if the pig is transgender, gay or whatever, you can be sure they will crack heads with the rest of them.

  11. weka 12

    For the people still confused about what SOUL want, I updated the post. I trust you are reading the post before commenting.

    • Adrian Thornton 12.1

      If that was meant for me ( and I am not saying it was) what I am just saying is in cases of civil disobedience no matter how just your position or how unjust the position of the state is…the police will always side with the state..something worth remembering.

      • weka 12.1.1

        It wasn't directed at you Adrian 🙂 It was for the RWers in this thread asking to be educated about what SOUL want.

    • Dukeofurl 12.2

      It seems to be more 'links' from Organise Aotearoa-Liberation and Socialism

      Pity SOUL hasnt heard of Twitter ?

      I seemed to be the first to mention https://www.protectihumatao.com/

      • weka 12.2.1

        The update is clearly a link to SOUL's website. The original post had a single link in it that wasn't about today's action, and that link was to SOUL's website. SOUL official have a twitter account and were tweeting last night about what was going down, as were other of the core protectors. You know me well enough to know how little I like having to waste my time doing corrections like this.

  12. Sacha 13

    Labour MP Peeni Henare acknowledges some of the larger tensions: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12255915

    But in answering a question from the floor, he also revealed frustration at what he described as the "murky" way that the controversial Ihumātao deal had come about between tribal elders and corporate interests.
    "This is a wakeup call to leadership in this country – both Maori and otherwise. Our people won't tolerate this anymore… Backroom deals have to stop," he said. "More deals are done in the Koru Lounge than on the Marae."

    Young Māori have found a voice through Ihumātao, Henare said.

    And on the question of whether the government would consider buying back the land, Henare said, "We already had conversations with other tribes who said if you do that, we will re-litigate our Treaty settlements," Henare said.

    • weka 13.1

      Good for him and it's a relief to see someone in the government getting it.

      Does the fear of re-litigating Treaty Settlments apply if the Crown buys the land and makes it part of the existing reserve?

      • Sacha 13.1.1

        Guess we will see.

      • Dukeofurl 13.1.2

        "TKAK view

        Fletchers agreed to protect the view of our maunga and reduce the housing development from 520 to 480 homes and enable our people to own 40 of them via a shared equity scheme – better than anything we have ever achieved from Housing New Zealand or the Crown.

        “In addition, the company has returned some of our precious land.”

        Mr Taua said the land was traditionally used to grow crops and is described as wahi tapu because it was con-fiscated. It is not a burial site, as protestors have claimed.

        “We will not allow outsiders to rewrite history for their own purposes


        So Auckland gets open space and outsiders like Pania Newton get to rewrite history

        • weka

          Afaik TKAM didn't want the development to happen at all and were part of the fight to prevent it.

          • Dukeofurl


            And they compromised and achieved a range of things like:

            "company has returned some of our precious land."

            • weka

              Yes. None of that answers the question about relitigating Treaty settlements.

              • Wayne

                My understanding is that buying the land and vesting it in the iwi as a reserve will open up existing Treaty of Waitangi settlements. And also make the Ngapuhi settlement difficult. All of which will be well known to Peeni Henare.

                If on the other hand the land was owned by Auckland City (funded by the Crown) with iwi co-governace (like the maunga) then the risk will be less.

                Winston also has a say on this. He may want to see Fletchers retain some of the land for general housing, as well as iwi housing. So more of a tripartite solution.

                • weka

                  What's it got to do with Peters?

                  People keep saying this about the settlements, but why does this *have to be a Treaty settlement issue?

                  • Wayne

                    If the government is going to buy some or all of the land from Fletchers, that will be a Cabinet decision. So Peters has a say.

                    • weka

                      right, I thought you meant he had some other right to be involved.

                    • SPC

                      For mine – let Peters claim credit for some of the land being bought up still being used for housing – both council and state housing.

                      The real problem might be what Fletchers offered the iwi – 40 shared equity houses and some of the land. Can the government match that without being seen to act outside the the existing process

                      1. impact on other iwi settlements.

                      2. transfer of private land to iwi.

                      Yet somehow it is OK for private developers to offer these deals to get iwi buy in (when surely they set the same precedent for future developments on other sites).

                      This speaks to the influence of iwi and Labour's Maori caucus.

                  • Dukeofurl

                    "but why does this *have to be a Treaty settlement issue?"

                    Because the land was claimed under the Tribunal hearing process AND a full and final settlement was reached. Because the land wasnt returned at the time doesnt change the original situation.

                    To have the government 'solve an old treaty claim' using a different process sets a new precedence that every iwi who didnt have all their ambitions fulfilled during their full and final settlement will take intense interest in.

                    Good luck with the Government buying the land via the Council and trying to say its not doing so to settle a land claim.

                    • SPC

                      And if private developers get iwi consent to develop the land in return for a bit of land and shared equity arrangments for 40 houses – why cannot government own the land and do the same?

                      There is still the issue of whether public reserve land is of any "economic" or compensatory settlement.

                    • Wayne []

                      I can’t imagine Winston agreeing to a deal where the state buys the land from Fletchers and then does a housing development. That would bee too big a breach of private property rights, by that I mean the precedent effect. It is one thing to buy land for a reserve, quite another to displace legitimate private activity.

                      While that might appeal to the left, it won’t appeal to Winston. And I suspect it wouldn’t appeal to the PM. Despite her commitment to social causes, from what I see of her she doesn’t seem to think the government is better than the private sector in general economic activity.

                    • weka

                      "Because the land was claimed under the Tribunal hearing process AND a full and final settlement was reached."

                      Do you mean that TKAM named the current Fletchers owned sight as part of their settlement? I thought land in private ownership was automatically excluded.

                      What about other Iwi and Hapū if they haven't gone to full and final yet?

                • SPC

                  Would having land added to the existing reserve be regarded as an economic settlement to iwi?

                • Pat

                  Winston (First) is in full electioneering mode…he can be relied upon to take any position he thinks will gain him the threshold …laughable really considering hes managed to waste a 3 billion dollar electoral bribe

  13. JohnP 14

    Police say they upped the numbers and cut off the front line from the atea due to a protector telling them they intended to reoccupy the land.

    1) at prayer time? at 7 at night? in the cold and the dark? without the knowledge of the mana whenua guiding it. Mine's a Tui.

    2) what are the odds some cop has had a chat with a kaitiaki who's said 'well, you know we're going to get back on the whenua eventually' and reported it up the chain to someone who's panicked because they already ceded 50 metres of the road yesterday

    They're also denying they shoved Pania Newton over, despite there being video of it.

    • Sacha 14.1

      Police say they upped the numbers and cut off the front line from the atea due to a protector telling them they intended to reoccupy the land.

      Interesting. Can you link to that please.

      • JohnP 14.1.1


        On Tuesday Superintendent Jill Rogers, Counties Manukau District Commander, said police increased their presence at the site after being told by protesters they intended to reoccupy the land.

        "Despite repeated warnings from police, a large group of protesters attempted to bypass the police cordon," Rogers said.

        "Police attempted to stop those trespassing, but protesters pushed their way past our staff.

        "The protesters eventually vacated the private land and no arrests were made."

        She rejected allegations a protester had been pushed over.

        • Sacha

          Thank you. Why couldn't they say that last night?

          • weka

            they needed time to get their story straight? Comms team had clocked off for the night?

            • Robert Guyton

              It sounded reasonable to me. Otherwise, we'd have to accept that the police were being provocative. I reckon they'd been told of a plan and correctly moved to stop it. Watching and listening from a distance though, I can only hope for some accuracy in my reckons.

              • JohnP

                It makes absolutely no sense that the kaitiaki, after nearly two weeks of peaceful protest, at a time when their numbers were under 100, would decide to make a push past the police lines at evening prayer time.

                If they were going to go all in, it would surely have been Sunday – when police let their line fall back to the new front line and there were hundreds of people on the whenua. Or the weekend before when there were a thousand people there.

              • weka

                I haven't seen an official police press release, but what's come out via the MSM doesn't look totally right to me. I think it's true the police action was over occupation but not in the way they are portraying. The protectors gained some new ground on the weekend I think or maybe Monday morning? I don't know what happened last night. I know that the protectors said they were surprised by the sudden increase in police presence, and were about to settle in for the evening's whakamoemiti, so it doesn't make sense to me that they told the police they were about to take possession of more land.

                The police rhetoric last night was the action was about safety and protection. The story changed overnight I think.

              • Sacha

                I reckon they'd been told of a plan

                Or intercepted electronic comms from somebody and made an interpretation? Big risk to any protest movement is those who glom on with their own agendas.

              • Pat

                It was reported on RNZ yesterday (?) a spokesperson (?) had announced the intention to move into an area that was previously agreed wasnt going to be occupied….so tallies with this mornings statement

                • Sacha

                  You are the only person I've seen so far who had heard that.

                  • Pat

                    well my imagination aint that good, my hearing aint that bad and RNZ is the only station I listen to as a rule….of course I could be going mad.

                    • Sacha

                      Not doubting you, just wishing someone had heard that last night on the twitters when things were clear as mud.

                  • weka

                    JohnP just linked to the police PR above, which makes things clearer but leaves some things unanswered.

                    • Dukeofurl

                      Police would likely have intel amoung the protestors plus they could be using the Stingray cell phone intercept equipment – is there a police van on site most of the time ?- which because of the location would grab users cellphone data defeating encryption, best to use higher level encrypted messaging and forget ISP ttxting

                    • weka

                      Probably best to assume all tech is compromised.

                      It raises legal and operational issues about why they would be doing that over an eviction notice.

                      SOUL talked on Monday day about their intentions regarding spreading out on the land but also just accessing the land eg going to the maunga. So it doesn't quite match with what the police are saying.

                    • weka

                      Have you seen that bluetooth usage by the Hong Kong activists? I think the idea there is that it doesn't matter what the police hear. But different kete of ika, given they are trying to work around the Chinese government hacking the internet services they use to organise.

  14. SPC 15

    A lot of confusing signals.

    1. Fletchers offered iwi 40 houses (shared equity) and some of the confiscated iwi land – but this is not undermining Treaty settlements and the related ethos of no return of privately owned land, yet if the government bought the land and did this for some reason that would be different.

    Fletchers have said they are willing to sell the land. This is why SOUl is occupying the land to prevent development – and thus allow government or council to buy the land.

    2. There is nothing to negotiate between them and SOUL, or between the iwi and SOUL. The iwi will support the deal while Fletchers own the land. SOUL need someone else (council or government) to buy it.

    So who does Ardern think she is fooling in asking for others to talk it through? Or is she just playing for time until polls/public opinion (and or her coalitioon partner) allow her government to act.

    It is not as if Labour is not up to speed with the issue they supported SOUL back in 2016 when in opposition – but now seem to be beholden to the iwi leadership's subesequent deal with Fletchers.

    For mine. This requires

    1. government buy up of land

    2. addition of land to the historic reserve

    3. the shared equity (40 houses) and land deal with iwi continues

    4. some council and some state housing.

    • Sacha 15.1

      With respect, there has already been a lot of discussion about the various interests in the process beyond those you mention. Please do some reading.

    • Wayne 15.2

      Did Labour actually support SOUL in 2016 (as opposed to just visiting them)?

    • Dukeofurl 15.3

      "3. the shared equity (40 houses) and land deal with iwi continues"

      Without the site development by Fletchers thats a dead duck.

      To create those building sites ( before building the houses ) will cost $6 mill plus. Then theres the house building on those sites, another $12-13 mill.

      Whos funding that – the iwi ? The government ? The Council ? Fairy Godmother?

      • SPC 15.3.1

        The government.

        While they would be privately owned – shared equity reduces the cost to government – they have less capital cost than extra state houses (a private partner).

        We do need more houses.

        Rent to buy and shared equity are amongst options recommened to government for increased supply.

        • weka

          I was thinking that the Greens' rent to buy scheme as well as papakainga schemes tie in neatly here.

          Biggest impediment there is Labour’s fear of its voters, and NZF. But why not do similar for another community that is predominantly Pākehā?

      • weka 15.3.2

        How did you get to $6m for site development for 40 houses?

        • Dukeofurl

          $150k each. It would be a greenfield site, less if they used higher density in Ihumatao village. Its just a starting figure as I dont know the existing services.

          • mauī

            No wonder many of the iwi don't want a bar of Fletcher, last thing they need is to be extorted by a developer to live in a house on their land.

          • weka

            Why $150,000 each? That seems seriously excessive.

  15. Robert Guyton 16

    Nandor has his say on this:

    "Ihumātao, as far as I understand, is about protecting a unique and important site from development. It was stolen a while ago and went into private Pakeha ownership. A previous National Govt ruled that privately owned land could not be part of any treaty settlement. A later National Govt fast-tracked the consent process to use it for housing. Jacinda is trying to figure out a way through the mess."


  16. greywarshark 18

    Bowalley Road has a scenario re Ihumatao that is a possibility, and there is another too.


    The final note refers to Shane Jones getting mouthy. Did anyone hear that?

    Shane Jones appeared on TVNZ’s Q+A programme. His comments regarding the land occupation were nothing short of inflammatory.

    • Dukeofurl 18.1

      read the intro- its really about someone else.

      Sean Plunket has been reporting and analysing New Zealand politics for a long time, and he thinks that Winston might be getting ready to do just that

      The most useless and blob of uninformed opinion in NZ and Trotter gives him credence.

      Who 'has to clear the site' ? The site and its dairy cows have been patiently waiting since the SHA was signed off around 2012 and SOUL put up their flags in 2015.

      It will be left for some years yet

    • Dukeofurl 18.2

      "His comments regarding the land occupation were nothing short of inflammatory."

      Watched it

      Absurd – he was just saying what the local iwi leader was saying – the land – ( the part owned by Fletcher and not to be returned to iwi)- isnt waahi tapu.

      Hes right too about the european era stone walls, the historically significant stone gardens and the tupuna maunga are already in the reserve.

  17. Michael 19

    Who authorised the big increase in police numbers at Ihumatao last night and why? Who authorised the police to display their firearms in public (I don't believe, for a second, that Police were simply "moving" their weapons away from the site)? Did Police attempt to jam mobile phone channels last night and, if so, why? Did the Police use physical force against anyone at Ihumatao last night or were they subjected to physical force themselves? Finally, does the Labour-led government have control over its Police force? I think we should be told.

    • greywarshark 19.1

      I don't think that there is any control over the Police on an everyday basis by government. The idea is that they should see to law and order and not be at the beck and call of government. They are very quick to take over such as at Pike River mine – they wouldn't go in because of their safety concerns and were controlling about others who knew the conditions and would have offered as in a search and rescue mission. The Tuhoe faid, that was largely their own doing I think. The chasing stolen cars and scaring the young drivers to death also them.

    • Dukeofurl 19.2

      "does the Labour-led government have control over its Police force?"

      The answer to that is The Police Commissioner has complete operational independence that is written into law.

      Williamson, as a national minister was sacked because he even spoke directly to an officer in charge about a 'party donors arrest'. The reality should have the mans lawyer talked to the cops about the situation.

      NO NZ government can direct them in the way you suggest. BTW are you not from NZ as its aquite a bizarre thing to say.

    • weka 19.3

      I'm guessing, but following live on twitter last night and doing a bit of reading, my reckons are:

      "Who authorised the big increase in police numbers at Ihumatao last night and why?"

      The local police commander, because the eviction notice is still in place and the protectors had signalled earlier in the day their intention to expand the occupation. Police said this today (their story changed from last night).

      "Who authorised the police to display their firearms in public (I don't believe, for a second, that Police were simply "moving" their weapons away from the site)?"

      This was bad. There shouldn't be firearms even in the car boots at that site. I've also seen a picture of a police carrying a firearm purportedly at the site, but you couldn't tell from the photo that it was Ihumātao. I think lots of potential for misinformation from a variety of sources and for various reasons. Fact checking seems paramount now.

      "Did Police attempt to jam mobile phone channels last night and, if so, why?"

      I don't think so. People were worried last night that this was happening, but it now seems unlikely.

      "Did the Police use physical force against anyone at Ihumatao last night or were they subjected to physical force themselves?"

      Pania Newton got knocked over while police were trying to close a gate to stop protectors. I don't know if police were subjected to force by the protectors or others, but I think things did get physical.

      "Finally, does the Labour-led government have control over its Police force? I think we should be told."

      No they don't, not directly. See this twitter thread for an explanation of why it would be bad if they did. https://twitter.com/LewSOS/status/1158497031058415621

  18. Ad 21

    If they just built a fence around all those the protesters and put a couple of standing taps in, the government could say they've built 300 homes just like that. Then they can all live there in one great big organic garden.

    • marty mars 21.1

      they are interested in so much that is too far beyond your puny little mind to comprehend

    • JohnP 21.2

      You realise exactly what you're proposing here, right? Concentrating all the kaitiaki in an enclosed camp.

  19. veutoviper 22

    For weka and anyone else interested in further background on the Ihumaatao* land and its confiscation, gifting to the Wallace family, and 150 years later, its sale to Fletchers, I found two very interesting articles last night. These give further details (much thanks to Vincent O'Malley it seems) about these factors- and also details about the attempts by the Wallace family to have the land rezoned for business purposes and the various Council decisions etc in relation to this, prior to the eventual sale to Fletchers.

    I actually put these links etc up arlier in a reply to Muttonbird @ 5.1.2 on today's Open Mike re Kris Finlayson, but thought it was worth repeating the links and the relevant bits of my comment here rather than just a link back to Open Mike to keep the info close to the other background etc on Ihumaatao.

    (Sorry for the repetition but have other commitments etc so don't have time for further refinement, summarising etc.)

    "… I also found two more articles on the background to Ihumaatao yesterday which are well worth reading for detail of the earlier Treaty settlement and the complicated dealings, Council decisions etc in relation to the sale of the land to Fletchers by the Wallace family.

    This Spinoff one a week or so ago


    And this 2016 Listener article which is again very relevant:


    Vincent O'Malley was a source of information for both articles; and the Listener article details that the confiscated land was given to a “Gavin Wallace” and owned by the Wallace family for 150 years until sold to Fletchers by the family through Gavin H Wallace Ltd. (Obviously not the same Gavin Wallace unless he defied all usual human age limits!)

    This registered company is still in existence but now based in Dargaville and is listed as a Fish breeding /farming (onshore) company.


    * using a double a in place of macron, as suggested by weka. "

    I really found these two articles worth reading for the detail and context, so hope you also do.

    Naughty me is almost tempted to contact the Wallace family through the Bizdb addresses etc and ask whether they are Maori … LOL. I am sure I would get a well deserved FO in terms of Privacy Act etc!

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