The deal that was struck between Te Kawerau ā Maki, the mana whenua of Ihumātao, and Fletchers, via the chosen and mandated negotiator, Te Warena Taua, was a deal of mana and of sustainability, both for the archaeological site and for the families who will have a chance at gaining quality development.

As matua Te Warena has stated: "Fletchers agreed to protect the view of our maunga and reduce the housing development from 520 to 480 homes and enable our people to own 40 of them via a shared equity scheme — better than anything we have ever achieved from Housing New Zealand or the Crown ... In addition, the company has returned some of our precious land."

The core issue is not a dispute over land. A few young people decided to oppose their own elders, whānau and iwi by protesting the deal, after the deal was signed.

An online campaign more savvy than those old people who have lived in the area decades before the protesters were even born, the willing media and their desire for market share, hangers-on who enjoy protesting for the sake of it, politicians seeking to signal their fluid virtue to any camera present, school children, even the police, who have increasingly become the progressive arm of the Labour/NZF/Green, have now made a circus of the deal.

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This is an example of how values of honour, respect, kaumātua, have been diluted to near-meaninglessness by political correctness. The few young ones who started protesting the mana whenua have abandoned the functional meaning of tikanga and whanaungatanga, and merely mouth the words that used to be terms of respect through familial obedience.

Over 30 years of government policies have broken down the family structure and true respect for those who should be honoured for their wisdom and mana. New Conservative have always built policy honouring the family, and honouring those who have walked life far longer than others.

New Conservative calls on the Government to show respect for, and stand with, the kawanatanga of Te Kawerau Maki.

ELLIOT IKILEI

Deputy Leader, New Conservative