PM hits out at 'inaccurate' Ihumātao claims
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is rejecting "inaccurate" claims that a deal is imminent over the disputed Ihumātao land and that she only recently became involved.
Multiple reports have alleged a decision about the future of the south Auckland land is near with a resolution deadline of June 30, and that the Government is planning to acquire it under the Housing Act at a cost of $30 million.
But the Prime Minister on Tuesday morning would not confirm the claims, and said some of the reporting she has seen "around timings and things being brought to Cabinet wasn't accurate".
"When we have an announcement to make we'll obviously make it," she said. "But it is fair to say that it's been an issue that obviously we've worked on for some time and are still seeking to reach a conclusion."
The Prime Minister also rejected claims she only recently became involved in negotiations.
"That's probably where I'd say that hasn't always been accurate. I've been involved since the very beginning, since a year ago when we first saw the occupation," she said.
"Of course, it was an issue important to New Zealand and important to so many within Māoridom. It was something I've been involved in ever since. That never stopped."
The Prime Minister said Kiingitanga have been involved "for quite some time now" in discussions, as well as iwi who have an interest in the land.