Protest forced decision-making
It has been acknowledged that Fletchers are the legitimate owners of Ihumatao having legally purchased the property and now finding themselves in a position where more than one iwi wants this lucrative property and the sale to be negated. If there was some question as to the legality of the sale - which there is not- then a legal remedy should be sought. It is not a matter for central or local government to resolve.
Once again the Treaty is being cited as a basis for argument - a situation which is happening time and time again over the last 180 years when legally purchased land is the basis of prolonged protest and subsequent return.
It is dangerous to create yet another precedent where protest and iwi demand and convenient Treaty interpretation forces the wrong result. On site protest is a type of bullying and occurs often in order to force political intervention in favour of iwi.
Whatever happens this way is going to cost the New Zealand taxpayer and ratepayer millions. Nowhere else in history has a dissatisfied purchaser managed to reap millions in so-called reparation and a national apology to boot.
Settlement on the basis of mana whenua has to stop.
We are fast becoming tenants in our own country.
I urge the Government and the Auckland City Council and the disputing iwi to recognise the principles of land transfer as set out in the relevant Statutes and to abide by them.
R Stephens, Papamoa Beach.