Cold water is being poured on hopes that a settlement is imminent at Ihumātao.

The Māori King's flag was lowered at the site near Auckland Airport on Wednesday morning, sparking speculation that the stalemate in the land dispute could be broken by Waitangi Day.

But Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking this morning that was not the case.

"The reality is that this has been a long-range discussion that will take a long, long time to be completed if it ever is," he said.

Advertisement

"What is being said right now by a whole range of people is simply false."

There was no solution right now for the issue.

READ MORE
Māori King visits Ihumātao as deal over Fletcher housing development dispute draws closer
The tragedy of Ihumātao
Why Ihumātao is being occupied by 'protectors'

"There are ongoing discussions with a whole range of people, some legit, some with no mana whatsoever."

He said it was important to be optimistic but he would not speculate on whether there would be a resolution.

Kīngi Tūheitia and the haukāinga (local people) of Ihumātao gathered at the South Auckland site on Wednesday to lower the king's flag after six months of discussions between mana whenua, Fletcher Building, the Government and Auckland Council regarding the disputed 480-home development.

On Tuesday Fletcher had been seen packing down its fences and equipment at the site.

Pania Newton, co-founder of Save Our Unique Landscape (Soul), told the Herald a deal was close.

Advertisement

"We are just working through the details, and have a meeting with whānau tonight to confirm they are happy with the arrangement.

"We are hoping a resolution is just hours, if not a day, away."

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters told Mike Hosking this morning a resolution in the Ihumātao land dispute was not imminent. File photo / Mark Mitchell
Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters told Mike Hosking this morning a resolution in the Ihumātao land dispute was not imminent. File photo / Mark Mitchell

But Kīngitanga spokeswoman Rukumoana Schaafhausen said while the announcement was not imminent it would come before Waitangi Day, on February 6.

"The views of mana whenua are key to resolving this issue - ministers, MPs have said it must be by Māori, for Māori solution, and I believe we will reach this before Waitangi Day," she told media gathered at Ihumātao.

"The lowering of the flag is simply a representation of the King's confidence in where negotiations are at."

The deal would not involve funding from Waikato-Tainui, she said.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said discussions had been positive and there was confidence a resolution would be reached soon. Once a draft agreement was reached by all parties it would be subject to final approval by Auckland Council in February.