Ihumaatao must be returned to mana whenua says Kiingitanga

Kiingi Tuuheitia Pootatau Te Wherowhero VII has successfully guided the mana whenua of lhumaatao to reach a consensus on the future of their whenua.

The King visited lhumaatao on Saturday 3rd August with a message of unity and peace and offered to facilitate discussions between mana whenua about the future development of the land.

The role of Kiingitanga was to provide the time and space for parties to talk freely and without duress, spokesperson Rahui Papa says.

“Although the land has remained occupied, mana whenua representatives have engaged in good faith discussions under the cloak of Kiingitanga and have reached a unified position on Ihumaatao.

“Mana whenua agree they want their land returned, so they can make decisions about its future.

“Mana whenua agreed the return of the land is outside of the Treaty of Waitangi settlement process and therefore requires an innovative and modern solution that does not financially disadvantage iwi.”

Kiingitanga acknowledges the Prime Minister’s early intervention in the dispute and the confirmation by Ministers and MPs that the views of mana whenua are key, as is a “by Maaori for Maaori” solution.

“It is important that the government prevents any further alienation of the people from their land, while discussions are underway.”

Kiingitanga has conveyed the views of mana whenua to the government and urged it to negotiate with Fletchers for the return of Ihumaatao to its rightful owners.