Finance Minister Grant Robertson has met with Fletcher Building as the Government tries to end the impasse at Ihumātao.

Māori King Tūheitia this week announced the mana whenua of the contested South Auckland site had reached a unified decision that they wanted to their land returned.

He added Kīngitanga had conveyed the views of mana whenua to the Government and urged it to negotiate with the land's owner, Fletcher, for the "return of Ihumātao to its rightful owners".

The Herald has confirmed the building company and Robertson met in the Beehive on Friday to discuss the situation.


"The conversation was part of the Government supporting finding a resolution on the future of Ihumātao," a spokeswoman for Robertson's office said.

"Fletchers asked to meet with the minister."

The minister declined to discuss any further details and the company has yet to reply to requests for comment.

The meeting comes just days after Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters said there was an "extraordinarily high benchmark" for the Government to get involved in the situation.

"And hitherto, we do not see that benchmark," he said.

His NZ First Party has been opposed to the Government buying the land back, saying it could potentially open other claims for land already settled in the Treaty of Waitangi process.

It's a view shared by the National Party, who have called for the Government to not get involved.

"Fletchers legally owns this land. If this settlement is brought into question then so will all other full and final Treaty of Waitangi settlements," Opposition leader Simon Bridges said.


But Robertson earlier said the Government had "absolutely no intention of reopening full and final settlements".

In an earlier statement responding to the King Tūheitia's announcement, a spokeswoman for Fletcher said it would be seeking urgent discussions with all parties involved.

"We have not been a party to those discussions and we are disappointed to see they have not produced a resolution," she said.

The King has been acting as an intermediary in the stalemate between Ihumātao's iwi authority – which supports a planned development by Fletcher Building on the site – and those opposing it, led by Pania Newton and the Save Our Unique Landscape group - who occupied the land.

Te Kawerau a Maki partnered with Fletcher and has some significant land gifted back as part of the development.

Ihumātao is thought to be one of the earliest places settled in Auckland and protesters says the site is of historical and cultural significance, not a Treaty matter.

The land was sold to the developer in 2016 after being designated a Special Housing Area. It has been the subject of controversy since.

Fletcher hoped to develop 480 homes on the site in Māngere and earthworks had begun in July when machinery was blocked by protesters.

They were issued with an eviction noted on July 23 and Ardern announced a halt to the development three days later, as tensions escalated.