In light of the news that taxpayers will buy the land at Ihumātao, ACT Leader David Seymour is asking ‘When will Jacinda Ardern’s philosophy of kindness and inclusion extend to New Zealanders who own property and follow the law?’
“The Prime Minister has pandered to the protestors and the woke left by brokering a deal to buy the land at Ihumātao from Fletcher,” says Mr Seymour.
“Ihumātao has turned into a political tragicomedy. Instead of doing what political leaders should do, and protecting the rights of property owners, Jacinda Ardern waded into the issue, enabling a group of radical activists, undermining property rights, putting taxpayers on the hook for $30 million, and preventing 480 houses from being built.
“The Prime Minister’s initial intervention was naïve. Her involvement emboldened the protesters, providing them with legitimacy, and encouraging them to march on her office.
“Ardern effectively said this: ‘If you break the law and illegally occupy private land for long enough, our Government won’t punish you, it will give you a seat at the table, and it will bully the private owner into selling the land.’
“The Prime Minister legitimised unlawful behaviour.
“Ihumātao will have ramifications for every iwi settlement because it creates the possibility that those settlements will now be relitigated.
“The Government’s only role at Ihumātao was to uphold property rights and the rule of law. It is a basic job of the state to protect the rights of people who legally own property from those who would undermine those rights.
“A system of secure property rights is the basis for our prosperity because it allows people to plan for the future. If politicians can simply walk in and demand you halt work on your property, where is the incentive to develop it? What message does Ihumātao send to other property owners?
“This Government legislated away the rights of licensed firearms owners and the oil and gas industry without consultation and without those groups having done anything wrong. But the Prime Minister is willing to consult and provide a seat at the table to a group of radical activists illegally occupying private property.
“When will Jacinda Ardern’s philosophy of kindness and inclusion extend to New Zealanders who own property and follow the law?
“The protestors at Ihumātao may believe they are on a crusade for justice to secure a better deal for Māori who have the bad end of nearly every social statistic, but they are not going to achieve that by returning New Zealand to a world of property by conquest.
“That’s underscored by the fact that 480 affordable homes will no longer be built during a housing crisis.
“Remarkably, the Government’s intervention will prevent more houses from being built at Ihumātao than it has delivered through its flagship KiwiBuild programme.”