The Government has limited time and tolerance for "indigenous handbrakes" as it rebuilds from Covid-19, according to Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones.
Jones was firing a shot at a group of iwi descendants of former owners of Rotorua Airport land who have raised concerns about proposed developments.
Rotorua Airport, owned by the Rotorua Lakes Council, has applied for $22 million from the Government's "shovel-ready" fund to help finance the developments.
The airport says it is not selling the land or doing anything it isn't entitled to do but former Māori landowners aren't so sure.
Rotorua woman Renee Kiriona has rallied descendants of the land which was taken in the 1960s under the Public Works Act for an aerodrome.
Kiriona believes the planned developments were "re-purposing" the land outside the realms of an aerodrome.
The airport's plans include a hangar that could be used for a variety of aviation purposes and an industrial business park that would help the airport "leverage value" from its unused land and diversify its revenue, as well as opening up industrial land for logistics, manufacturing and other commercial and industrial uses.
The airport company estimates the developments could attract up to 500 jobs.
Jones said the Government wasn't interested in what in his view were "illegitimate concerns".
"I take a dim view of anyone suggesting an application associated with the airport would circumvent legitimate iwi interests."
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He said he was "allergic" to what he believed was "iwi rubbernecking" every time he spoke about developments and then being dictated to by those "demanding to have powers of veto".
"I am disinterested in that."
Jones said there were enough Māori within the Caucus to deal with concerns.
"My message to iwi tribal networks is we have limited time and tolerance for indigenous handbrakes."
He said given what Covid-19 had done to the economy they needed to work quickly.
"We want the Rotorua economy to prosper. We want housing to be built, roads to be improved so local developments can emerge. I want to remind every single iwi, unemployment will strike their own young people."
Jones also did not believe the airport or the Rotorua Lakes Council would get it wrong.
"I know Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick incredibly well and no one has been a better advocate for iwi relations in the history of Local Government than her."
Kiriona told the Rotorua Daily Post she wasn't at all surprised by Jones' comments.
"I'm not even insulted by them. I would expect that from him."
She said they were not being a handbrake.
"Ihumātao (where there was an occupation of disputed land near Auckland Airport) was a handbrake. We don't want to move into that gear yet. That's why we want to start talks now but no one seems to want to listen."
Kiriona said the descendants had their second "zui" (Zoom hui) on Saturday. A working party of six people including herself had been formed to take the descendants' concern to a hui-a-iwi of Ngāti Uenukukōpako to gain support.
Those hui are held every second month but given the restrictions of mass gatherings under alert levels, it was not known when that meeting could progress, she said.
In the meantime, Kiriona said she would approach Government ministers this week to ask that iwi consultation be part of any condition of funding given to shovel ready projects.
She said she expected a better response from the Labour MPs than from New Zealand First.
"We don't want to stop the grants. We just want them to give it with a strong condition that they engage with us."
Māori Crown Relations Minister Kelvin Davis referred comments about shovel ready projects to Jones' office.
"In any situation that arises, it remains important that further Treaty grievances are not created and this continues to be a high priority," Davis said.