“Jacinda Ardern and Grant Robertson are set to deliver an early Christmas gift to the protestors illegally occupying land at Ihumātao”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

The Government is considering loaning money to Auckland Council so it can purchase the land from Fletcher, RNZ has reported.

“By caving to the protestors' demands, the message the Government will be sending is this: ‘If you break the law and illegally occupy other people's private property, we won't punish you, we'll help you’.

“The Government’s only role at Ihumātao was to uphold property rights and the rule of law, not to legitimise unlawful behaviour and embolden people who break the law and occupy other people's property.

“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.

“Secure property rights are the basis for our prosperity because they allow people to plan for the future. If you can’t be sure you’ll own your stuff tomorrow, how can you invest, or get a loan to support your investment, or remain confident about the future?

“Countries with strong property rights are better off in every respect than those in which thugs can take someone’s property on a whim.

“Ihumātao will have ramifications for every iwi settlement because it creates the possibility that those settlements will now be relitigated.

“It is also deeply disappointing that, given Auckland’s housing crisis, 480 affordable homes may now not be built.

“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.”