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Dr Muriel Newman

Private Property Rights Under Threat

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A land protest near Auckland airport has serious implications for private property rights in New Zealand – if it is not handled properly by the Government.

Ihumatao represents a clash of generations, cultures, and leadership.

This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator, political analyst Dr Bryce Edwards of Victoria University, has called it the ‘Zeitgeist of 2019’. In his analysis of media commentary over the conflict, he explains:

“The extraordinary Maori land protest at Ihumatao in Auckland is symbolic of our time. It is unlikely to have occurred, say, five years ago. It perfectly reflects heightened concerns and increased radicalism over racism, economic inequality, and the history of colonialism in New Zealand.

“This meant that when the police moved in last week to evict a long-running protest about the confiscation of Maori land, it suddenly ignited those values that have been brewing in many about injustice and a need to take a stand.”

The land at the centre of the dispute on the Ihumatao Peninsula overlooking the Manukau Harbour has had a chequered history.

Since being disposed of by the Crown following tribal rebellions in the 1860s it was privately owned and run as a farm. But in the late 1990s, the Manukau City Council, Auckland Regional Authority and Department of Conservation wanted 100 hectares of the surrounding area for the Otuataua Stonefields Historic Reserve. The owners of the farm agreed that 21ha could be used for that purpose.

However, in 2009, when the Council proposed changing the zoning to capture the rest of the farm, the family objected and applied for the zoning to be changed to business development instead. The Council rejected their proposal, so they appealed to the Environment Court, which found in their favour, approving the land for future development.

The Council then offered to buy the land for a fraction of what it was worth, so the family refused to sell. Then, in 2014 after the Super City was formed, the Government and the Auckland Council designated 32ha of the land as a Special Housing Area.

In 2016 Fletcher Building bought the land to build 480 houses, after consulting with the local iwi Te Kawerau a Maki. In return for supporting their consent, the iwi’s Settlement Trust extracted generous concessions from Fletchers, including the return of a quarter of the land and 40 of the houses!

With tribal leaders now claiming that the land rights activists are disrespecting their elders by refusing to leave the site, the protest action is putting those substantial benefits at risk. 

The well-funded protest action began three years ago when Fletchers bought the land. At the time, protest leader, Pania Newton, had just graduated as a lawyer and was spending a gap year working for her community. A top scholar at her Mangere Maori immersion school, she appears to have been radicalised at a young age: “When I was 9, I wrote in a time capsule at school that I wanted to be a lawyer when I grew up, to fight for Maori rights and for my family”.

Saving Ihumatao became her mission, and the ‘Save Our Unique Landscape’ (SOUL) campaign began.

Inspired by the Maori Sovereignty and Indigenous Rights movements, Pania Newton deliberately defied her uncle Te Warena Taua – the chairman of the iwi’s Settlement Trust that had approved Fletchers’ development – by starting the protest. He had asked her not to go ahead as he didn’t want her to jeopardise the lucrative arrangement they had negotiated.

The occupation began in November 2016 when tents, caravans, and makeshift shelters were erected by the side of the road.

In 2017, the group took their fight to the United Nations in order to gain international visibility and to enable the UN to put pressure on the New Zealand Government.

There were two trips to New York. The first was in May to the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues where they alleged breaches of the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People. The second visit was in August to present their case to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

The UN made a number of non-binding directives, including that the New Zealand Government “obtain the free and informed consent of Maori before approving any project affecting the use and development of their traditional land and resources”.  

In 2018, the protestors then took their fight to the Environment Court to attempt to have Fletchers’ consent to build houses on the land revoked. But the Judge found that the company had done more than they had been required to do to protect the land and their appeal was dismissed.

Undeterred by their legal failure, earlier this year they delivered a petition to Parliament demanding the government step in to protect the land. A second petition was lodged with the Auckland Council.

Then in May, just as Fletchers were getting ready to begin work on their development, the protestors blocked an access road and threatened workers.

In response, Fletchers and the iwi leaders supporting the development, served eviction notices on the occupiers. Arrests were made when the protestors breached a police cordon and attempted to stop trucks from entering the site.

The protest group has since called for support on social media, attracting responses from an eclectic mix including the Destiny Church and a delegation from the Muslim community. Busloads of supporters have joined the protestors with moral support and gifts of kai and koha.

According to tribal elders, 99.9 percent of the protesters have no connection to the iwi or the land.

While the SOUL facebook page urges supporters to “stand in solidarity as we protect this waahi tapu at Ihumaatao”, iwi leaders point out that claims that the land is on ancient burial grounds and is wahi tapu, are deliberately misleading. They say the land to be built on was used for growing wheat and that the only sacred area is the 8ha that will be given to the iwi.

The present situation has been likened to the Bastion Point stand-off in the late 1970s, when protestors, who also disagreed with their elders occupied the area for 507 days. That issue was finally resolved when 800 police arrived in a convoy of army trucks to arrest the protesters and demolish their makeshift homes.

But this protest is very different: it’s over private land. If central government steps in to appease the protestors and give them what they want, they could end up opening the flood gates for activists to claim any piece of private land they fancied.

All they would have to do is what they have done at Ihumatao – occupy the land, claim it has cultural significance, then demand that it be returned to its “rightful owners”.  

The Green Party’s co-leader Marama Davidson is supporting the protestors, claiming the dispute represents a “continuation of colonisation”. She has called on the Government to intervene, but the Prime Minister said she did not want to undermine the local iwi and was loath to get involved. The Minister of Maori Crown Relations Kelvin Davis reinforced her stance saying it was not the Government’s place to intervene: “That would disrespect the rangatiratanga of Te Kawerau a  Maki. This is their land, their assets and their plan for their people.”

However, accusations that Jacinda Ardern was showing a “lack of leadership” caused her to reverse her position. She has now announced a halt on all building work until the dispute is resolved.

But the local Maori MP, Labour Minister Peeni Henare has warned, “If the Government steps in to buy this land back, we undermine every Treaty settlement that’s been done to date. We then allow re-litigation of settlements that have been done in the past and are we prepared for that?”

How central government handles this matter is critical. Most New Zealanders would strongly object to any move to re-open Treaty settlements. They would be outraged by any plan to open up private land for Maori grievances.

Yet that is exactly what the protestors are demanding. They want Treaty claims to be able to include private land – as the protest leader explained: “Here at Ihumatao we are challenging the notion that the government can simply wash its hands of the confiscation of lands that happened in the 1860s, and the devastating effects of this simply because the land has been transferred into private hands. This struggle for justice goes to the heart of how our democracy works—and has shown us that our democracy is wanting, and needing to be reviewed.”

This puts the protestors not only at odds with their tribal leaders, but also with the Treaty settlement process that specifies that only Crown land and assets can be used to settle claims, never private property.

It’s section 6 of the 1975 Treaty of Waitangi Act that specifically excludes the use of private land to settle Treaty claims. The Hansard of Parliamentary debates explains that ‘private land is sacrosanct’:  “Private citizens hold their tenure from the Crown, and they are entitled to look to the Crown to protect that right and that tenure. That right will now be enshrined in legislation for the protection of all private landowners in New Zealand…

“To put it simply, the Waitangi Tribunal will not have the jurisdiction to recommend that particular areas of privately owned land be acquired by the Crown for return to Maori claimants under the treaty settlement process.”

The protestors’ desire to overturn this private property rights safeguard signals the rise of a new generation of radicals who are determined to return Aotearoa to Maori. These fanatics have been incubated and nurtured over the last 20 or 30 years through decades of political appeasement. The rise of radicalism is a significant threat to social stability. Unless it is successfully curtailed it signals that a very dangerous path lies ahead. One has only to look at the history of land confiscations in Zimbabwe to see where this could lead New Zealand if the situation is mismanaged by the Government.

The protest also signifies the growing dissatisfaction with the tribal class system which privileges an elite with hereditary entitlement, while leaving the majority behind with little to show from decades of Treaty settlements and government largesse. While this iwi elite now control corporations worth billions of dollars, many disadvantaged tribal members languish in the country’s worst socio-economic failure.

In fact, the evidence over the decades categorically shows that race-based handouts controlled by powerful tribal leaders will never reduce inequality.

At the heart of the problem is the fact that defining people by race is an artificial construct that divides citizens, families, communities and the nation. ‘Race’ is being aggressively promoted by tribal vested interests who stand to gain the spoils of victory – ably assisted by a new generation of lawyers profiting from the largely government-funded gravy train.

But the point is that there is no scientific foundation for defining people by ‘race’. Many countries are no longer prepared to condone the racial exploitation and division associated with tribalism, and have eliminated the concept from legislation. These wise leaders do not allow citizens to be marginalised in race-based collectives, but treat everyone equally as individuals. This is the predominant situation in much of Western Europe, including Austria, Finland, Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, and Sweden, as well as in Fiji and many States in the US.

It’s time that New Zealand followed suit and removed race from our legislation. Equal rights for all citizens is the basis of our democracy – it should also be the foundation for how we are governed.

If the Prime Minister does decide to step in to help resolve the protest, then let’s hope she stands firm against appeasing the radicals. Otherwise, she risks a disastrous outcome – setting a precedent that could open the way for widespread tribal claims on private land.


Should the Government allow the use of private land to settle Treaty grievances? 

*Poll comments are posted below.


*All NZCPR poll results can be seen in the Archive.


Click to view x 120


It could put all private properties at risk of claims by Maori. The government should honour the Treaty settlement with the iwi. This protest and occupation, along with recent strikes, shows others who wish to take similar action that this government is easily swayed by such actions. Laurence
Absolutely not Miles
NO NO NO Colleen
One country, one rule for ALL, and that includes all ‘citizens’ regardless of race. Mike
Most New Zealanders are over the Treaty as it is now being used a piece of paper to pander the Maori radicals. Wayne
I don’t hold out much hope that the little girl wont cave very quickly and that will create a much larger problem Hugh
This is wrong on all fronts. We need to make a noise that this Govt can hear to stop this nonsense here and now. What is wrong with them. Barbara
Next thing they will decide they want the land my home is on. Oh, and the house as well. Not going to happen. Neither should it happen in this instance. Neil
My great,great grand parents immigrated here in 1840, purchased 25 acres on Onehunga to farm. He died in 1842 and Governor Grey confiscated 24 acres because widows could not be landowners under his govt. Perhaps this could be the thin edge of the wedge. Wayne
The owner has bought the land in a legitimate transaction so why have the Government/Maori interfere Terence
Absolutely not. No more land should be allowed to settle any grievances. Govt should stay out of any private land claims and let the Police deal with it. Lock em all up. Graeme
We must not allow this to become a dangerous precedent. Do not appease these racial radicals. Michael
Private land must remain private. Alan
Definitely NOT. This is a chip on the shoulder radical young Part Maori protest. I’m sick of hearing about colonisation being the cause of all so called Maori problems. Virtually all so called Maori protestors also have European ancestry which they choose to ignore. We need to move on and all become New Zealanders working together. This is a family argument nothing to do with the Govt or the protestors who are not from the disputed area. I am of Maori/European ancestry. Sherryl
I want the government to represent all NZ and not just a small, but very loud fraction of the populace John
Definitely not Philip
Absolutely no way!!!!! Terry
If this rubbish carries on when will we ever all become all NZ ers , just another misuse of Taxpayer funds. Waisting Police time instead of their time used where it is needed on our roads, and streets. Ross
Private property rights are a cornerstone of democracy. When they disappear, so will everything else. We will be the next Zimbabwe. John
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER !!!!!! Martin
Race should never be part of any legislation. I work for government and I am really tired of how much money is being wasted trying to impose Maori culture on every one. Every single culture have been victims of colonisations, by the greeks, the romans, arabs and others. We all got over and moved on, worked towards a better life and adapted. It is time to move on. Lulu
Absolutely not! South Africa all over again. Sarah
No Never. What happened to the rule of law. Like democracy it has been hijacked. Governments should remove all mention of ethnicity from legislation and start representing the majority. What a miserable country this is, uncertainty is socially unhealthy. . People will only take so much. Sam
I do not subscribe to the “Treaty Partners”argument, although the parties to the treaty may owe each other duties to act in good faith. This is a two way street; the protesters’ actions must surely be a breach of the treaty. Trevor
Absolutely not. Unfortunately this bunch of amatuer socialists we have got running the place will bend over backwards to help Maori protests. If you want even more evidence of why we must get binding referendum, this is it. Ronmac
Marxism, pure and simple Jeremy
The govt HAS to have the guts to stop this crap now! Don
just read the comments Bill
A very dangerous precedent David
If this wasn’t so serious it would be funny. Private land is untouchable. What happened to full and final settlements? Richard
Definitely not as the radical section would win and untold private property would be lost that generations have developed Sidwell
Allowing the use of private property to settle claims would destroy the already damaged Treaty process. Note that further occupations are planned, such as Shelly Bay. The only solution is a swift settlement of outstanding claims anda disallowing of the coastal claims and anything relation to natural resources. As this won’t happen under a Coalition government or a future National government, we are going to be inundated by spurious claims. BTW, the next elevation will see a return of the Maori Party with the intention of aligning with National. Thanks go to Chris Finlayson for initiating the claims for coastal control which will be a non negotiable condition of the National based coalition. Richard
This has got to stop now this Government needs to act like a government and dismiss this claim . The young radicals are not listening to their elders in this mater this is dis respect. Wendy
It has all gone too far and every thinking New Zealander has had enough Margaret
maori need to be stopped from using their bullyboy tactics NOW!! JOHN
It would be the ruination of this country. KEVIN
Privater land should remain just that. What happened 160-200 years ago no longer applies , and PART Maori individuals should respect the 1860 decision of the Kohimarama convention. . Don
Sorry to say but the horse has bolted. NZ is so PC and most institutions are too scared to stand up to Maori now. Chris
For all the reasons outlined in your latest email. Well done for outlining the ramifications for all New Zealanders. thank you Mel
Absolutely not,. These radicals like Pania Newton, who from her name can only be half Maori at best, demonstrate a level of ignorance, no matter how qualified they are. These radicals have no more say in the running of this country than those of us who live here and are of mixed blood. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH . Time to put these extremists in place. Tom
It would open up a gravy train. Joan
We are getting closer to predicable flashpoint. Sir Jim, Sir Geoffery, Sir Bob, Sir Tipene (Steven), we told you 40 years ago your taxpayer funded gravy train would all end tears! David
More racist rantings Gareth
Absolutely NOT! We have seen what this does to Africa. Do we really want to follow that example? I pray not. Hennie
to do so is a dangerous precedent. Nick
This whole treaty nonsense is already out of hand. Bring in private enterprise and it truly stirs things up even more. Peter
No!! This has got to end. Who rules this country, law abiding citizens or lawless left wing radicals? Bruce
This is the thin edge of the wedge. This Govt is so incapacitated by MMP and suffering the Jacinda effect that I fear for what I have strived for over the last 50 years may all be in vain as the untitled end up calling to be shots. My father left school at 12 to support his family , worked 2 jobs all his life living in a much respected state house to give his family a start in life. We have cherished this start and done well through hard work and are a bit over to the entitled socialists who are too bloody lazy to try harder. I am fortunate to now be able to give back. It am increasingly grumpy at those who simply do t try hard enough. John
Totally immoral and to the detriment of all New Zealanders Alan
Never, never, never Tony
This Racism is becoming very harmful to New Zealand as a supposed country of equals. Brian b
Must never be allowed Bryan
Of course not. Dennis
Absolutely not. Start that sort of nonsense and the radicals have the majority of NZ’rs just where they want us. Helen
Absolutely not! Ron
Maori blackmail Edward
Private land has already been taken to settle Treaty grievances, Bastion Point and Allan Titford’s farm which had both been previously tried and failed Her Majesties Court through lack of evidence. The Waitangi Tribunal did not produce counter evidence to defeat the previous Courts hearings. At the first Constitutional Meeting at Te Papa on 02-02-12 Nin Thomas spoke for some time on the fact the National Government’s intention was to replace our unwritten constitution with a written Constitution modelled on the Constitution of Bolivia but never mentioned the facts that in Bolivia private homes and cars were confiscated and Tribal Law was installed. The Constitution Advisory Panel has never been disbanded and here you can listen to a Radio New Zealand broadcast on the Bolivian Constitution. ‘Aotearoa/New Zealand today//Aotearoa/Bolivia tomorrow’, by Radio New Zealand. The speaker is Mark Goodale, Anthropologist, Human Rights lawyer and lecturer at North Carolina State University, U.S.A. and is followed by a view from a Maori perspective. Please copy to your browser. http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/ideas/ideas-20090308-1110-Ideas_for_8_March_2009.ogg George
for all the reasons you identify Norman
The Treaty of Waitangi was 180 years ago. Get over it. I have a Tremain cartoon from over 20 years ago. A man is leaning on his shovel and saying ” Oh boy,I’ve got a grievance all right! The despicable way my Maori ancestors were diddled and hoodwinked by my Pakeha ancestors”. Doesn’t that say it all? There are no Maori. All those claiming to be are of mixed race with some only too ready to jump on any bandwagon going if there might be something in it for them. Mention of Zimbabwe is so scary! Juliet
Absolutely not. If the Govt intervenes and settles a spurious claim using OUR money where does that leave ANY private land owner in NZ. In the same boat as Mr Titford I presume Carolyn
A full and final settlement should mean full and final Lyn
More nonsense from this col government Les
When is this stupidity going to end? Radicalism is the.’ squeaky wheel ‘ the government of the day kowtows to and when, by the way did New Zealand become Aotearoa??? colleen
This unfortunate conflict is being encouraged by radicals who are a greedy lot. Brian
This is a step to far and would further expand racial divide Graham
Who’s land is it ? David
Part Maori, part Pakeha is there a difference? Thank you Bryce Edwards for putting it so succinctly. Democracy must prevail and the law is clear for all of us. Huria
These “protesters” should be told to stop showing off, and made to stand on the naughty step for 20 minutes. it is not conceivable that they believe they have a viable case, but by God, do they love the fleeting fame it brings to their otherwise drab existence! TOBY
we are all nzers one law for everybody.Finish barry
The current Treaty provisions serve the nation well. Rick
Absolutely not, to do so would attempt to overrule Parliament & surely Ardern would not be arrogant enough to try that. Donald
Another dangerous precedent. The government has already spent millions on Treaty Settlements which just encourages Maoris to keep up their chant of gimme, gimme, gimme. This protest has already cost the taxpayer in police time and other costs. Do as they did at Bastion Point. Arrest the lot and let Fletchers get on with the job. They’re building houses for Maoris and others. Get on with the job. There is a housing shortage. As for using private land in compensation. That would just be another signal to Maoris. Here you are relitigate all the previous Treaty settlements. Wouldn’t they just love that. Chris
If the government were to allow the use of private land to settle grievances then every person and company in New Zealand would be at risk of bankruptcy Ray
Time all this stopped Richard
If they did they would be contravening current laws Peter
All treaty settlements should be full and final. .2. All race based legislation should be repealed. Wayne
What nonsense next they will want their own PM? IAN
If Jacinda steps in she will give in and then the radicals will win and never stop, it will be the end for New Zealand as we know it. Fraser
to do so will be at the Labor party peril and bring NZ to a civil war William
Absolutely not! This would open a can of worms. Paul
Plus the removal of racial consideration from all legislation would go a long way towards healing non Maori derision of Government policy. Alastair
Absolutely not. Pamela
No No NO .. 4 million times no. If they get away with this, there will be no stopping Ngati Gimmee Gimmee. What happened to Treaty “One Nation” Kabe
I can’t believe such nonsense is actually happening. New Zealand is going down the drain Don
It is time we stand as one and eliminate the racial components of current law and base it on need. Let’s stop referring to people by their race and refer to them with regards to what they need . Glenda
Never, never ,never! Jim
No way. Beyond belief that is even under consideration. Graham
Absolutely not ! Maori tribes have only gained the billions of dollars and assets through continuous taxpayers money. In some cases it has been warranted . Get rid of race based laws and decisions. We are all humans and should be treated equally. Continue the way we are and there will be a civil conflict. Darryl
Would not hold my breath expecting this Govt. to honor either private property rights or the rule of law. It was a Labour Prime Minister (Palmer) who created most of this mess Ken
No, My land is my land and I like all land owners will rise up and fight to protect those rights. If these activists are allowed to continue we will in New Zealand end up with another version of the 1800’s land wars. Albyn
No, NO. Private land is not available for treaty claims. Where are we living? Zimbabwe? Paloma
Under no circumstance Bob
The Maori leaders need to share the wealth we gave them with their tribes Darag
how much money and land do we give. no more. the treaty is a fast Owen
Our prime minister is stepping on dangerous ground and should not stop Fletchers from carrying on their legitimate business. If Ardern gives in to Maori on this issue then we are in deep DDDOS.I suggest we get shot of this current coalition and take a hard line with these protesters. Ken
The mere thought of this occurring will put the threat of all privately land in question – it is a NO GO topic. The protesters in Auckland are trespassing pure and simple and should leave or be arrested. As a side issue, why are these people not at work together with those supporters who incidentally have absolutely no connection with the land. Its Time to get tough with these issues. Chris
NO ! it would be breaking the law if it did. John
The Maori grievance industry went too far years ago but it keeps delivering to the agitators due to weak governments. The treaty of Waitangi can be interpreted by Maori to justify absolutely anything no matter how outrageousness, more so than even the bible. Richard
The govt needs to show & enforce a strong hand here!! These radicals are full of s…t & thumb their noses at legislation, Their aim is to bankrupt the country based on the race argument! The country is sick & tired of this separatism. Everyone has had the same opportunity in this country ! Ron
This treaty thing is a big rip of they have got no more prof of how the land was divided in the 1800 hundreds word of mouth is not reliable so a big con by the Maori Russell
Hell no! A can of worms is about to be opened that will have dire consequences for the whole country, economically and socially. I have no confidence in the current government not involving itself in this private agreement for under pressure it will fold to radicals in fear of loosing votes. Failing to factor in those of us who are sick to our back teeth of subverted radicals on their soap box of injustice and colonialisation.  Carol
As long as the private land owner agrees to sell the land to government and there are limitations on how much government can offer taking into account valuations. Regarding Ihumatau, it was never confiscated ‘illegally’ as protestors and media claim. Government passed a law on 3 December 1863 authorizing confiscation from North Island tribes who were in rebellion against the Crown. Under the Treaty Maori had the privileges and responsibilities of British subjects. Currently, our government is confiscating property at great rate when owners are unable to prove they obtained the money for their property legally. Like the confiscations from Maori this may be unethical, against legal principles such as the presumption of innocence and the obligation for the Crown to prove wrongdoing, but it’s not illegal because the law was passed. Hans
If this government buckles then all private land is up for grabs! Tony
No way whatsoever should Government allow the use of private land to settle Treaty grievances. The Government must keep out of this latest claim at Auckland. We are one race and take no notice of this activist and her followers who are leading the claim. Frank
If you want a full scale war…………….Definitely not Sue
For all the reasons given by Dr Newman and others’ wise and ever so relevant commentaries. NZ is on the cusp of a ‘critical decision process’ that could ruin this country by the intended but unlawful imposition of Maori sovereignty Russell
Certainly not.. Elizabeth
The POLICE should remove ALL these PROTESTERS forthwith as they are trespassing on PRIVATE land ! 99% of these protesters have NOTHING to do with the local Iwi who have approved this project with Fletcher Building. Andrew
Maori bleating about “colonialisation” is racist and only continues to aggravate their apparent disadvantages. David
My one desire is to see all New Zealanders be classed as such regardless of race, or religion. Graham
It would be giving in to bullying by part-maori racists Bruce
We need to look forward and move on, or should the Moriori also be demanding recompence from the Maori for past wrongs? Where does this stop? Roy
This would be disastrous Chris
Could also be the end of the Maori Tribal system from Leadership down. What’s next – a wee bit o’ Terrorism perhaps? Colin
This govt and pretty much all the other ones previous have prepared the slippery slope we are on now and this present unwanted govt will put the last nail into the coffin ( so to speak ) and I am convinced ( looking at the composition of rather devious characters running this current political punch and judy show ) that this will end only in civil strive . And on which side – I wonder – will the police ,and the armed forces stand when the day comes. We do not need to mention the maori gangs, which are well armed and ready to join as official ‘ militia’ to take their pound of flesh. God save us all ! Michael
This proposal represents a huge change to the system of land ownership in NZ. If you own land, it will take away the certainty of that ownership to a greater degree than even town planning, zoning, and the resource management act. Howard
As written’It’s time that New Zealand followed suit and removed race from our legislation. Equal rights for all citizens is the basis of our democracy’ Nigel
Absolutely not.If anyone other than people with a bit of Maori blood attempted this prank,, on private land or anywhere else, the the police would have moved in and arrested anyone breaking the law. What a total waste of police resources, standing guard over this bunch of racists. Barry
Yeah na !!!! I am sick and tired about hearing Maori this and Maori that ! This is New Zealand and ALL people here SHOULD and MUST be treated the same ! Maori only make up about 12% of the population but you could be forgiven for thinking that this figure was 88% . They keep putting their hands out demanding more and more !! Now in the media, particularly on TV we are subjected to the Maori language creeping in by stealth by most of the media journalists, some of whom are Maori so go figure? Jack Tame is one of the best at telling us how good he is at speaking the language so I say keep it to yourself or use it on Maori TV ! We are ALL Kiwi’s after all.. Fletcher Challenge are the rightful OWNERS of this latest land and dispute so the Government & Police should uphold the law and remove all these agitators who are just wanting more and more ? Most of them don’t even live in this area and should go home and get a proper job ! Civil disobedience MUST not be tolerated !! Andrew
A thousand times NO!!! Mark
No No way should this be allowed to happen. It is up to the people tribes to settle problem on the land by the Auckland airport. Maori would love it if they could settle grievances by treaty using this way to get private land. There is a Limit . You could very bring the country to civil war, which I think some Maori want. robert
If this rubbish went ahead , then the value of legal property ownership will become immediately valueless ; again , they have no respect for our Laws , as with the criminals in this country .TOO soft !!..opens another can of worms as it were ! Roy
Italie world race oriented preference to invite severe division of NZ citizens who should expect equality and a Govt that ensures settlement monetary and land “hand ups” are fairly shared among all entitled. Stan
Absolutely NOT Heather
Time to put racialism to bed. Who built this Country into what it is today. Certainly not these Moari radicals. Put them in a Waka and push them into the Pacific Frank
I am absolutely sick of the Maori grizzling about everything, why don’t they tackle their so called ‘leaders’ about their greed. We hear how wonderful they are doing in the commercial world what happened to the trickly down theory to help their people. They won’t be happy until they have bankrupted the country, then nobody wins. Merryl
Absolutely NOT Ian
Government’s first and foremost job is to protect private property of it’s citizens. If it no longer does that, it can no longer call itself a government, and instead opt for an authoritarian monarch. Pavel
Tribalism leads to destruction. Stuart
Race based legislation or decisions made should have no regard for ethnic groups. All New Zealander’s should be treated equally in education, benefits and any other funded or otherwise decisions. This is another try on for a vociferous minority. Brian
When the Treaty of Waitangi was signed, Maori agreed to live under British law, which of course includes property law. Bob
The whole debacle of claims has got out of hand. Stop the nonsense. Laurel
No definitely not. That would be a slippery slope to go down. They are already claiming the entire coastline of New Zealand! Matt
The more things change….? The Ihumatao debacle is a very clear example of the difficulties faced by European settlers when they tried to negotiate purchases of land from the native occupiers of that land. It was difficult to ascertain who had the authority to sell so subsequently, after conclusion, it was often the case that a sale price had to be paid again to a different set of claimed owners. Alan
If central government allows private land to be used for treaty settlements it will be the beginning of endless land claims based on so called “oral records” that are already being be tailored to fit any situation that favours part Maori. There is potential for a situation to develop that is very similar to that which took place in Zimbabwe, and is happening in South Africa. The resulting racism and tribalism will have horrific consequences John
For 10 years we have been going through ‘the system’ asking the Govt to Preserve New Chum – Wainuiototo form development. It is in private ownership & we have always been told that the Govt will not intervene when the land is held privately – even when New Chum is designated one of the top 3 wilderness beaches in the world & one of the top 20 most beautiful. Watching this with interest and hopeful our PM has the foresight to look into the future at the consequences. Failing Health System, failing education system, small population. Linda
Dangerous and stupid idea, opening up a potential disaster. Hugh
This has to be stopped. We need someone in government with the guts to stand up and be counted. Elizabeth
If the government gives in to the protesters it will be the thin edge of a wedge to lead to bigger claims until NZ goes down the drain Tony
Then all NZers could lose their homes George
Well, of course it should under the apartheid regime that it loves so much. Government always knows best. Ardern waiting for Clarkes seat then she departs her trail of destruction here. Zoran
It has now got to the stage where Government ministers are too frightened to speak out and condemn protesters who have no association whatsoever with this land. The protest bis now being used to undermine completed Treaty settlements and to now include the taking of privately owned land. Where will it stop? The government must without delay unequivocally put a stop to this protest. Ted
I STRONGLY agree ALL race should be revoked in our laws/policies & EVERYONE should be EQUAL that is what DEMOCRATIC law is about & its time N.Zealanders WOKE UP & STOPPED BEING SHEEP & EMAIL ALL MP,s from ALL parties & REALLY make your views known. Cindy
No way David
Private land is sacrosanct. The radicals would seize every opportunity to claim some nebulous historic event that gives them rights to claim land from anyone they choose. I see a repeat of what happened in Zimbabwe but in NZ’s case such claims could lead to civil war. Ardern has made a fatal error in her decision and doesn’t have the experience or wisdom to get out of the mess she has created. Labour must be defeated at the ballot box. Kerry
A thousand times NO! Tribalism and collectivism are one in the same. The principle of tribalism is that property belongs to everyone in general and no none in particular, so with no particular individual private ownership, no one cares. Why should they? If a value is created by an individual within the tribe, the tribe or collective claims it so any personal incentive to produce further, dies. The barrenness of socialism ensues. If we forget about the Magna Carta, philosopher John Locke’s defending individualism, private property rights, and the rule of law, boundaries and national sovereignty as major cornerstones of Western civilisation then we are doomed to the barbarity and bloodshed of might is right! Don
No way Graeme
In NZ we should equal rights and remove all racial legislation. maurice
You are not doing yourself any any other New Zealanders any favours Muriel by calling our country a false name — “return Aotearoa to Maori” It was not called anything before Tasman’s discovery. Peter
never Jill
I have no faith in the ability of Labour and the Greens to settle this situation. For some reason they appear to support the “For Maori by Maori” concept and that will lead to the end of NZ as we know it. Steve
Sold is sold. This is a land grab attempt and a recipe for violent disagreement. Derek
Definitely not IAN
An unreserved NO. Kevin
Look out. We could too easily be the next Zimbabwe Frank
As stupid as it is – can we get our guns back in case those who do not know or understand history force enmity and hatred ? Maurie
Definitely not Barbara
Too late, any number of farms have sec 4 conservation act under interests on their title. Mike
Absolutely not am sick to death of the waitangi treaty claims & the claims of white supremacy, the most racist people in NZ are the maori radicals Nigel
Maoris are still in warrior mode with an army of lawyers, the next generation are using hindsight and claim they are on a winning horse., we should transport them back to the 1850’s George
Radicals must never out weigh reason James
An excellent & perceptive commentary by Dr. Bryce Edwards. Rob
This is all ridiculous. The treaty was so long ago, it is just all about opportunist greed.  Joe
The treaty gravy train should end now. New Zealand is quickly becoming a leasehold bonanza for a few tribal elite. This is the onset of tribalism and communism. Bruce C
Definitely NOT. It would mean no-one has a legal title to their “plot” any more! ted
No way! End this now. Lila
This government must take a firm stand to avoid future anarchy. Lawrie
never. we are all “equal” Gerard
How on Earth does NZ expect investment of any sort to occur here with all this land and money grabbing going on. I owned 2 properties in NZ, and sold them both in 2002 when I saw this coming. Regardless to say, I would never buy a property in NZ again, what with Maori demanding and being given everything, an unelected P.M handing out $Billions to people who have not worked for or are entitled to it, and with a socialist/Nw o agenda that aims to steal your property from you like they are our legally owned guns and freedom of speech Mike
Everyone is equal. They just need to move on. Jan
How on Earth does NZ expect investment of any sort to occur here with all this land and money grabbing going on. I owned 2 properties in NZ, and sold them both in 2002 when I saw this coming. Regardless to say, I would never buy a property in NZ again, what with Maori demanding and being given everything, an unelected P.M handing out $Billions to people who have not worked for or are entitled to it, and with a socialist/Nw o agenda that aims to steal your property from you like they are our legally owned guns and freedom of speech Mike
No way. Government should not support radicals and confirm the legal status quo. Trevor
What kind of ‘stupid’ would ever think that was the correct way to run our beautiful country. Carl
No – absolutely not! This Treaty entitlement nonsense has gone on for far too long. The sooner that we enact legislation which removes all reference to race, colour or creed from our various Acts of Parliament, the better. As NZ citizens, all equal under the Law, we are entitled to the safeguards that the Law provides, in particular, a defence of the right to own property (among others inherited from our forefathers). If we lose these ancient rights, we lose everything! Scott
This is racial bigotry of the highest order and will only lead to frustration of other ethnic groups in fact it will cause segregation and ultimately aggression on both sides of this racial tension It is coming there is going to be a backlash Andrew
Absolute garbage – we cannot allow this bunch of idiots to have their way. As someone said to me the other day, “there’s either a national holiday going on we don’t know about, or these dickheads are using up all their annual leave to protest” – yeah right! Dave
Never Ian
A democratic NZ is the ONLY way forward. I am amazed that so many politicians cannot understand this and encourage the media by their example to be total dimwits. Bruce
all nz citizens deserve to be treated equally stop this race based bullshit Murray
That would open the gates to total disaster. Robyn
To much land has been taken to settle grievances, it is past time to finish treaty claims, it is the rest of the tax payer who pays Colin
Treaty Claims are bull-dust. They’re a conquered race who has been VERY WELL looked after to date. Once you open claims for Private Land we may as well all leave NZ. How would you like your Auckland property handed over to Maori ownership? Well it’s the same for all other Private Land! Simon
On Maori patience and empathy is wearing thin now. Appease this lot and it will do a lot of harm to the racial fabric of this country Trevor
Never neville
no never Steven
Of course not. The end of NZ society?. John
Private land does not belong to the Crown unless the Crown has purchased it at a fair market price and without compulsion Pete
More ‘oh but I feel like it was yesterday, the white man coming 160 years ago and taking our land’. While we’re at it, can you adjust my benefit for inflation? Allen
Once started it will never cease. Jill
No way. One country one people. Marion
Maori want hand outs everywhere. This is rubbish !!! Kevin
Private land would have no meaning if the government can take it even if they pay market price and compensation to a land owner . Kevin
Absolutely no way !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is just further nonsense. When are our gutless politicians going to start saying “|NO”. Alan
More racism Cutty
definitely not. Carol
Burn the Treaty and shoot all future Maori activists. I’m getting really pissed of, and sick and tired with all this Maori crap. Reg
No…! A thousand times NO! I believe it will lead to bloodshed throughout the country. We cannot keep looking back into a past which is constantly being rewritten with untruths and expecting the almighty dollar to solve the demands of barely 14% of the population Naine
And then this socialist autocratic Government would eventually move to ‘use’ private freehold homes for their own supporters. Hong Kong is a good example! Beware!! Stuart
Nz has been nearly sucked dry by all the claims on the people of NZ. It is time the waitangi tribunal was abolished as it has now been going for two generations, with no end of claims in sight. We all have had a belly full of this nonsense. Paul
This standoff will be an interesting test for Adern. She acknowledged in her intervention interview that the voices of the ‘young people’ must be heard. Read what you like into this, but to me she is sending a subtle message to the protesters that she has a soft spot for their protest. This could be explosive. She needs to grow a spine and snuff out this anarchy. Quickly! Watch this space. Robert
This would never have happened in any democratically run country. The whole lot should be evicted and arrested. Anything less will show the true weakness in government and the law and just how useless Arden is. Kein
Absolutely not . These greedy and stupid people who have nothing better to do than interrupt people willing to supply anything to help shortages of products by their using their Stone age culture to make something sacred. Don’t give Maoris anything more as this only encourages to moan about something else. If Someone has bought land and wants to build house on it these idiots should be told to go to hell. The Maoris I admire are those who work hard and live in the real world and live along side their neighbours of what ever race or ethnicity they may be without being or causing trouble. Colin
No of course not, we must move forward so that everyone is treated the same. There is nothing worse than a community feeling aggrieved, and others jumping on the bandwagon to support something they are not directly connected with. Carol
Tell the maori radicals and racists to buzz off and move into the modern world. Mike
Definitely not Colleen
Let’s not forget that the Treaty of Waitangi has never formed part of New Zealand’s domestic law, nor has it been ratified by any government. The Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975 established the Waitangi Tribunal (which has no powers of enforcement) and “recognised” the Treaty, but that’s as far as it goes. Those legally qualified protesters, at the site in question, know (or ought to know) this. Therefore, there can be no legally justifiable confiscation of private land on the basis of Treaty claims. What worries me, however, is that this utterly incompetent, naive and emotionally driven coalition government may be just reckless enough to give in to the protesters’ demands, and thus create a potentially disastrous legal precedent. Graham
I foresee civil war reoccurring. Communism destroying society, it’s already happening with families. Here’s an example of that. Jack
No no no no no no no Mike
No way what is this country coming to I for 1 an thinking seriously of leaving as the whole thing is out of control Peter
Absolutely not ! Laurie
What ! – unbelievable racial reverse %u2018apartheid%u2019 nonsense Hylton
What a slippery slop that would be. Heaven forbid. Andrew
Australia is looking more attractive by the day …. We have major race based problems in this country due to the stupidity of past and present governments. Bryan
Absolutely not!! This would be a huge huge mistake. The whole gravy train process is bad enough as it is. Brenda
UN has no teeth, they let the USA do whatever they like, killing woman and children. Hone
If the use of private land in settlements comes to pass, this will usher in a new dark age in NZ Joseph
We are on not a division of ethnic groups Brian
Such a proposition will create a climate for civil war. It is bad enough gouging taxpayers for the purpose of settling already spurious demands from some seriously devious groups. Chris Finlayson did great damage to the fabric of New Zealand Society as did John Key when he sent Pita Sharples to sign the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, without any reference to New Zealanders. That was an appalling deceit visited on the voters of New Zealand. John Key did not campaign on putting a signature to that particular UN Declaration. It is very divisive and extremely counterproductive to a democratic system of Government, which of course we no longer have as MMP hijacks the premise of democracy and delivers decision making to fringe minorities. Dianna
Absolutely no way should the Government get involved apart from providing 100% support for the police to remove these protestors and charge them with illegal trespass. The use of taxpayers money to appease this group of miscreants would be tantamount to treason by destruction of past treaty settlements. Well past time to put an end to this reverse racism and treaty claims gravy train. Chris
Hugh backward step if they do. Mark
The Waitangi Trough has been open long enough. It is time we all became Kiwis and canned the Treaty of Waitangi as it has well outlived it’s usefulness. Gerry
Absolutely NOT! Peter
Absolutely not!!! Alan
And where would all this End. Civil unrest like we have never seen before. This type of Land grabbing behaviour is tantamount to a form of Treason. After signing the Treaty of Waitangi, “we are now one People’ ……. !!!!!!!! Geoff
One law for All Chris
Private land is sacrosanct! Karen
Definitely NOT Trevor
That would open up New Zealand to total destruction. Graeme
It will create huge problems Leo
this is crazy and would see the labour party gone David
Not at all. That would open a real can of worms and would endanger all private land owners. Graham
Using private land could mean the land my house is situated on – which I bought! Jenny
Agree with this article Ken
In addition to stopping the Maori Grievance industry; we need to stem Labour’s bribing of the Green Extremists. Helen Clark banned sustainable rimu logging – which had improved the health of forests; and Jacinda unilaterally banning new gas and oil energy licences. We will end up importing these products instead of using our own. Hugh
Absolutely not! Ron
Absolutely not. I also ask, why are we still settling Treaty grievances when they were finished way back in the 1940’s? All settlements today are fraudulent. A line should be ruled under them all and we should start going forward in this country without any distinction as to race undermining everything. We are all New Zealanders. No more Treaty settlements and no special treatment based on race. Helen
What a mess. David
If they do, in theory all private land is up for grabs by those with tribal interests. Perish the thought. Keith
We are all humans and therefore we all have the same human rights. There should never be a preference because of your race. Chris
No. Treaty settlements should be well and truly over. Harry
Waikato-Tainui should use some of their $300m settlement monies to buy out Fletchers, instead of building another hotel at the airport. Murray
Not a single piece of land! We can thank Key & cabinet for taking Maori as a coalition partner, his incredibly weak deals with Maori over flags, indigenous rights, foreshore & seabed etc.! What a disaster! Jacinda & her leftist mates, (Greens, Winston First). A miracle might save the 80% of non-Maori! Frank
Absolutely NOT Jan
Totally opposed but if Cindy is looking for hugs anything is possible, a serious can of worms has been opened by someone who, quite frankly, does not have a clue.. John
Get rid of this Marxist crap once and for all Jeffrey
I think we should use treaty settlement to compensate the people who were here before maori, oh, silly me, they were annihilated by the people of the land. One people, one race! Ah, I am now very stupid, we have legally two races in NZ, one race of minority maori bloodlines, who annihilated the original inhabitants of NZ and one race of people who seem to pay and work for it all. Ah well, mmp, where the voice of the village idiot is as powerful as the voice of a well educated person, is alive and well. Leonard
Of course not. Send in a couple of bulldozers, and if they don’t get out of the way, just go over the top of them. Im feed up with these scum. Des
This situation in Mangere us another example of a PM who blows along with the hottest wind. As a long term socialist her mentality seems to be apologetic for any capitalist principles of private ownership and rights. Mike
It is time to defend the original treaty between Maori and Crown, to stop this nonsense. John
If the government does buy this back to return the land to iwi would this not be a triple dip. First when the taxpayer paid the treaty settlement, second when the Auckland council bought it, and a possibility of a third if the taxpayer has to pay to buy it off Fletchers to return to iwi. Who knows if that happens iwi might go for a forth. What a business to be in. Peter
No, definitely not! Rob
Just another back down from this government to give Maori what they want Jimmy
Absolutely BLOODY no! Which raises a long overdue question….when are we going to start charging Maori for all the off-setting tremendous benefits they’ve enjoyed by belonging to the modern 21st century and not living in a tribalistic, war-faring, slave-trading, cannibalistic, stone age society, That consideration is long overdue. Tony
This protest is absolutely frightening if allowed to go ahead .It will mean nothing is safe from part Maori protesters or should I say bully boys . This whole thing is frighteningly well organised and doesn’t bode well for the future . Jock
Absolutely not, if this happened it could open the floodgates and lead to a whole new series of land-claims throughout NZ. Respect the current law as it stands. Lawrie
The answer is no. Much land may have been privately owned at some stage and the issue would then become “at what stage does private ownership cease or begin.”Jacinderella should stop messing! Peter
Whilst this so called grievance is based on the shaky premise of Confiscation, it serves to demonstrate that the Maori legal advisors will look past established private property Rights in order to persue their own agenda. The disgusting debacle of he Titford Property seems to be a close cousin to this unprincipled intimidation. If the Government and the Police fail to show that the individual Private owners are fully protected then the Police are failing in their sworn duty and the Government is confirming it is unfit to Govern the whole of the nation, which in no small measure is funded by taxation based on persons and organizations that are wedded to private property title. This issue will now expose the government as either representative of the people or operating without mandate to effect an agenda that has no representative citizen support. Richard
Why comment the maori will continue to pressure the authority’s and ignore our legal system until they cave in as per usual David
No way. Allan
…if they do New Zealand will return to the ‘stone age’ and everyone will want to “leave the building…” CHowes
No, we are one people. They shouldn’t have special treatment. Tim
Absolutely not. Maori have had the same opportunities given to them as most New Zealanders have had, and looking at the media reports and photographs,one wonders why they are not at work earning to provide for their families–instead of protesting!! Jenny
High time to end apartheid views and the ‘gimme gimme’ outlook Collin
Tiriti O Waitangi claims that have already been settled, as in this instance, need to be accepted. Stirring up such claims over PRIVATE land is mischievous. It is hurtful to democracy and peace. Ray
It is all about money and greed. Pat
Stop the radicals before it is too late Doug
Breach of the treaty Chris
This government is so pro maori it will do anything to appease ONE LAW FOR ALL is what we have to have. NO MORE TREATY CLAIMS John
Whatever happened to one law for all? Graham
Through the labyrinth of multiple claims and protesters and counter claims, two things are clear: 1. The land is owned by Fletchers. They have legal title to it. Just like our home, and your home. 2. The various squatters, protesters etc are illegally trespassing. They have been given an eviction notice. The P.M. has, by not insisting that the law be enforced, given a Government approval of ongoing illegal activity. What sort of example does this set for a Western democracy ? Doug
Treaty Grievances are all settled aren’t they Roger
Absolutely not – private land must never be used to settle Treaty grievances that happened centuries ago. It would cause a riot and would ensure the defeat of the Labour Government.  Rod
No, No, No – a thousand times NO!  Pauline
Surely Labour wouldn’t be stupid enough to open that particular Pandora’s Box.  Jim
This protest needs to be dealt with like Bastion Point. The protestors are preventing land owners from going about their legal business. They are breaking the law and should be removed.  Bert
One would hope that this Government understands the significance  of the situation and resolves it in a way that does not jeopardise private property rights. I have written to the Prime Minister and all MPs to urge caution. Chris