By RNZ

A spokesperson for the Māori King has told those against a contentious housing development in South Auckland, that they want to move forward together to find a solution.

A group is occupying the land near the small settlement of Ihumātao to protest against a housing development planned by Fletcher Building.

However, the project is supported by the iwi authority and the Kīngitanga.

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Nine busloads of people as part of the Kīngitangacontingent were welcomed at Ihumātao this morning.

The powhiri is still underway with both sides speaking.

A spokesperson for Kīngi Tūheitia talked about wanting to move forward to find a solution, and the significance of Ihumātao to the Kiingitanga.

It is where the first Māori king, Pōtatau Te Wherowhero, received his title.

The King has raised the Kīngitanga flag just outside the main tent which is on the front line.

A Kīngitanga spokesperson says the flag will stay at Ihumātao and be returned to the King once a resolution has been reached at this whenua.

When the King's visit was announced earlier this week, it was welcomed by those occupying the land who said it was a massive deal and a sign that things might be moving a little faster.

The King has said that he hopes his visit can help to find a resolution to the protracted dispute.

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- RNZ