Regional | Ihumātao

National repeats claim transparency on Ihumātao dispute a must before election

National is again taking aim at what it describes as Labour's "defeating silence" on Ihumātao, in a media statement released Sunday. It follows National leader Judith Collins' call in July for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to be transparent before the election about whether any taxpayer funds are to be used to settle the dispute.

National’s finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith repeated the call in a media statement Sunday claiming that Labour's "deafening silence" continues to undermine the business confidence needed to get the economy back on track.

“Labour has created more than a year of uncertainty for the landowners after Jacinda Arden’s ill-conceived intervention stopped much-needed homes from being built there.

“Labour appears determined to do nothing about it before New Zealanders go to the polls. That’s not good enough."

Restating Collins' earlier remarks, Goldsmith says Labour must be transparent with voters and explain if any deal has been struck in relation to Ihumātao.

“We are facing our biggest economic crisis in 160 years and every dollar we borrow to get us through this must be spent wisely to build a better economy.

“For this reason, and with the election just around the corner, Jacinda Ardern and her finance spokesperson owe it to voters to be transparent about whether any taxpayer funds will be used to settle this dispute under a Labour Government.

“If there is a Crown deal on the cards, Labour needs to explain to voters why they think it is appropriate to meddle in private property rights with taxpayer money," Goldsmith says.

“The last thing we need now is to create more uncertainty by stopping houses from being built and giving in to protests on private land."

In June, Te Ao reported that an Ihumātao settlement could be imminent.