Mike Yardley: Govt's Xmas gift for the taxpayer? Ihumātao

Author
Mike Yardley,
Publish Date
Fri, 18 Dec 2020, 11:24AM
(Photo / NZ Herald)
(Photo / NZ Herald)

Mike Yardley: Govt's Xmas gift for the taxpayer? Ihumātao

Author
Mike Yardley,
Publish Date
Fri, 18 Dec 2020, 11:24AM

Well, ka-thud. I’m sure that’s the sound that ricocheted across New Zealand at midday yesterday as news broke about Ihumātao.

What a dud Christmas present to dump on the nation’s doorsteps. A purchase the nation didn’t want, and a big fat bill that we certainly don’t deserve to be lumbered with.

The $30 million purchase of Fletcher’s land at Ihumātao is a shameful outcome to a shoddy fit of interference by the Prime Minister.

And isn’t it typical, that after she dabbled in these waters, she’s nowhere to be seen when this deal is finally revealed. Grant Robertson is left to do the heavy-lifting.

It was quite obvious this week that this wretched intervention was imminent. If you were listening to Politics Wednesday, Stuart Nash said that Jacinda Ardern would ensure that the deal would be of benefit to all New Zealanders. Well, what a crock of nonsense that’s turned out to be.

This deal should scare the bejesus out of most Kiwis. This will empower a whole new arm of the grievance industry to mobilise. Occupiers are us. Taking aim at privately-owned land that they actually think should be returned for iwi, and land that they will say should never have fallen into private hands.

Hello Kapiti Airport. And what Shelly Bay?  Will the Beehive now poke their nose into that?  How much taxpayer money is going to be hurled at that stand-off to calm the farm?

But as I said on Tuesday, if the iwi really want Ihumātao back so badly, for its cultural heritage, why don’t they open their chequebook?  Why haven’t the Kingitanga and the Waikato-Tainui had the good grace to offer a fair market price to Fletcher’s to purchase it. Why should we be the mugs that end up footing the bill?

For a government that repeatedly bleats about the housing crisis, it is ludicrous that not only have the destroyed Fletcher’s plans to build 480 homes, but under this divisive deal, there’s no guarantee that we will see even 10 houses built there anytime soon.

What a sell-out. And what a recipe for trouble. They have paid off protesters. The precedent stinks.