“Jacinda Ardern’s chickens are coming home to roost as the Ihumātao protestors she has emboldened march on her electorate office today”, ACT Leader David Seymour says.
“As I predicted almost a month ago, the PM made a serious error of judgement by putting a halt to the development of 480 houses on private property. She legitimised unlawful behaviour by capitulating to an illegal occupation as her opening move.
“The PM’s intervention only served to embolden protestors who are now en route to her electorate office to demand she visit the site. Ardern should never have involved herself in the dispute.
“I had hoped the PM might have a master plan to persuade the protesters to back down, but following her intervention she immediately left for the Pacific.
“Jacinda Ardern is more focused on identity politics and virtue signalling than the basics of good government. She has cultivated a brand of a kinder, more inclusive politics, but occupying private property is always wrong. She sent the message: ‘if you occupy private property, the Government will take your side and give you a seat at the table instead of protecting the property rights of the legal owners.’
“Police should ensure the protestors are prevented from returning to the site and that the legitimate property rights of the developer are upheld. If the Government continues to undermine private property rights, the consequences will be far more serious than a bunch of ragtag protestors on the PM’s doorstep.”