$30 million to appease protesters

The Herald reports:

A deal is said to be close to being signed on Auckland’s long-disputed Ihumātao with the Government reported to be about to pay more than $30 million to buy the property from owner Fletcher Living.

1 News has just reported the Government is “closing” on a deal to resolve the dispute over the land occupied for years by Save Our Unique Landscape (Soul) after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern “became personally involved”. …

1 News said a rōpū whakahaere would be established in the form of a trust or board, comprising Government, Auckland Council and mana whenua representatives. That entity would decide what should happen to the land and whether it is developed or not, it was reported.

Land would be purchased under the Housing Act to avoid clashing with Treaty of Waitangi settlement process.

This does several things:

  • Encourages protesters to occupy privately owned land, as the Government will then reward them for it
  • Means the Government has destroyed more houses with this move than it has created with Kiwibuild
  • Fatally undermined Treaty settlements as full and final by doing an additional Treaty settlement for this land. They may claim it isn’t a Treaty settlement in form, but it is in substance
  • Set up a precedent that privately owned land is now fair game and undermines private property rights

This is not the end, but just the beginning of a new chapter.

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