The police presence has dropped but those occupying the disputed land at Ihumātao show no signs of going anywhere.
As the protest against a major Fletcher development in Māngere, South Auckland, enters its second week there is now an almost community-like atmosphere, with over 100 tents set up, and even daycare.
It is a stark contrast from the tense first days after an eviction notice was served, when the police numbered about 70 officers, but this had been scaled right back to about a dozen today.
The mood has taken a drastic shift since Friday, after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called a halt to construction while a solution was sought from all affected parties.
The group leading the occupation, Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL), said it would not leave the area until there was written confirmation no building will take place on the land. As of Tuesday they still had no word from the Government.
Cook Islands Queen Pa Upokotini Ariki of Takitumu Vaka paid a special visit on Tuesday, telling the audience they faced similar land disputes back home.
She found the gathering was very peaceful and informative, and there were many ideas she would take with her.
"I've got an issue back at home, I want to change our name from the Cook Islands to a local traditional name.
"Captain Cook never discovered my island, he never stepped foot on it. [Why] do I have to have his name?"
There was a special connection between Pacific people, and it was important they supported each other, she said.
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"The seven waka that brought your people here left from my village in the 1300s, so I am proud to be here."
Schools and Māori groups from across the country continue to visit the site.
Students of Te Kura o Te Moutere o Matakana were there on Tuesday to learn about the land struggle.
Tumuaki (principal) Julian Rolleston said the visit was providing important lessons for the tamariki.
Their iwi Ngāi Te Rangi were facing similar whenua disputes around Matakana Island and Tauranga.
"These tamariki will be the kaitiaki (protectors) of the future, so it is important for them to be here to experience it."
The key players of the Ihumātao land struggle
Pania Newton and SOUL
In 2015, six cousins who'd grown up in the papakāinga at Ihumātao — Qiane Matata-Sipu, Bobbi-Jo Pihema, Waimarie McFarland, Moana Waa, Haki Wilson, and Pania Newton, the youngest of them — formed the protest group called SOUL — Save Our Unique Landscape.
Their aim was to stop the nearly 500 homes being built near their village, their ancient burial caves, the Ōtuataua Stonefields Historic Reserve, and their ancestral maunga, Puketāpapatanga-a-Hape and Ōtuataua.
About a dozen of them have been occupying the land since 2016, taking their fight to the United Nations, and petitioning the Government and Auckland Council in order to stop building going ahead.
They want the land returned to mana whenua and included in the neighbouring Stonefields as a reserve, open to all.
Last Tuesday they were served an eviction notice by Fletcher, which sparked the mass occupation that has continued since.
Despite the halt to building announced, SOUL, along with mana whenua at Makaurau Marae nearby, has said they would continue to occupy the land until it has written confirmation from the Government no building would take place until all parties find a solution together.
SOUL has said all along it wants the Government to help find a solution. The group says the land was confiscated in 1863 during the invasion of the Waikato, acquired by the Crown in 1867 and sold to the Wallace family in 1869.
"Pākehā law and Pākehā processes have driven a wedge between affected Māori, creating a divided house", Soul says on its website, Protect Ihumātao.
"The Government must intervene and create an opportunity for meaningful engagement so that all affected Māori can express their concerns and interests."
Te Warena Taua and Te Kawerau ā Maki
Te Kawerau ā Maki chair Te Warena Taua led some of the early fights against the site's designation as a Special Housing Area and opposed its sale to Fletcher.
When it lost that battle, elders and iwi leaders from Te Kawerau ā Maki decided the next best thing was to negotiate concessions for mana whenua.
That included Fletcher returning 8ha - 25 per cent of the site - and allocating 40 homes for local whānau via a shared equity scheme.
This week police were joined by Taua as well as others from that iwi and from Te Akitau Waiohua and elders from Tainui, to deliver the eviction notice to SOUL.
Taua told Waatea News SOUL did not have a mandate from mana whenua.
However, while the iwi is regarded as mana whenua, so too are Te Akitai, Te Wai o Hua and Tainui. People from the same iwi and hapū stand on both sides of the divide.
Taua has not responded to requests for comment since Ardern's announcement on Friday, but has long cited housing as a key issue.
Any deal reached would likely need to address the iwi's housing aspirations.
Fletcher Residential entered the fray after purchasing the land in 2016. It gained consent for a 480-house development on the site.
The company struck a deal with iwi Te Kawerau ā Maki, one of several groups that have claimed mana whenua, to return some of the land and allocated 40 homes.
Fletcher has since fended off challenges in the Māori Land Court, Environment Court and the United Nations.
Amid ongoing occupations and protests, residential and development division chief executive Steve Evans said in February this year the company was open to approaches from buyers on the controversial site and could sell if the right offer was made .
Auckland Council has valued the site at $36m.
Fletchers was part of the meeting on Friday after which Ardern announced a halt to the development.
The company has not commented on how it would approach the talks, and if it would still be open to an offer.
Successive governments have taken a backseat approach to the dispute at Ihumātao.
The previous National-led Government created the special housing area legislation that allowed the land to be designated Special Housing Area 62, and consequently be sold for a major housing development.
Under that government Labour supported calls to preserve the land at Ihumātao, however since taking power it has been reluctant to get involved.
Both Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Te Arawhiti/Māori Crown Relations Minister Kelvin Davis said the matter was for mana whenua, and stepping in would override the process.
But on Friday, Ardern announced - following a meeting with Fletcher, Auckland Council and iwi (but not SOUL) - a halt to the construction while all parties worked to find a solution.
The following day, with Ardern on a long-planned trip to Tokelau, Government Ministers Peeni Henare and Willie Jackson visited Ihumātao, and said they would work with all mana whenua – including those with SOUL and Makaurau Marae – on finding a solution.
As of Tuesday there was no indication on when those talks would begin.
The Government has said as it is private land it cannot be part of a Treaty settlement, and buying it and returning it to mana whenua could open it to challenges from other iwi across the country with claims to private land.
But critics say the land could be purchased and returned to mana whenua with co-governance reserve provisions.
Former indigenous studies lecturer and researcher John McCaffery said if such a reserve contained the same housing benefits Te Kawerau ā Maki negotiated with Fletchers, a deal could be achieved.
Auckland Council attempted to buy the remaining 33 hectares to add to the Ōtuataua Stonefields Historic Reserve in 2012, but the Environment Court said no - it had to be zoned for development.
In 2014 the site, was designated a Special Housing Area, so development could be fast-tracked and in 2016 it was sold to Fletcher.
Several councillors publicly supported SOUL, but the council has never taken a strong stance on the matter.
In April, a hikoi, ending in Auckland's Aotea Square, saw a 20,000-signature petition delivered to Auckland mayor Phil Goff, calling for local council and Government to protect the land.
After the occupation began to grow last week councillors voted to call an "urgent" meeting to "explore all partnering opportunities that will bring an end to this lengthy dispute".
Councillor Cathey Casey, who raised the extraordinary item, said she hoped the move would avert "a situation that could escalate as Bastion Point did".
The following day the council was involved in private talks, after which Ardern announced a halt to the development.