“The Prime Minister has empowered radicals who threatened to disturb the peace and rewarded them with the gift of someone else’s property,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“Buying Fletcher Building out of Ihumātao has formalised Jacinda Ardern’s worst decision as Prime Minister.
“It is the equivalent of the US President siding with Antifa over the businesses they vandalise.
“It’s now clear, if you own land and someone squats on it, the Prime Minister won’t defend your property rights, she’ll use taxpayers’ money to buy the land off you.
“In the case of Ihumātao, it’s apparently okay because future housing on the site will be ‘a sensitive development that recognises the special characteristics of the land.’
“Perversely, that precisely describes what Fletcher Building went through years of consultation and design with mandated iwi to try and deliver.
“It will be a miracle if this hotchpotch of an arrangement ever builds any houses, given this Government’s track record.
“The gravest issue is the terrible signal this sends agitators who decide to disregard private property rights and the legally binding treaty settlement process.
“Already we’re hearing and seeing rumblings of Ihumātao-like actions, such as the occupation of Shelly Bay in Wellington.
“Thanks to Jacinda Ardern there will be more – why wouldn’t there?”