COMMENT

Is it the Government's job to solve the Ihumātao shambles? No.

Then why is it trying? You might remember it's because just before the Prime Minister wandered off to Tuvalu at a period of time that involved several other overseas trips, and as a result gave her a reputation of being offshore rather more than most people thought warranted, she decided to say all building was off until this thing got sorted.

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Why she felt she needed to say this will perhaps be told in years to come in her autobiography.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at the Pacific Islands Forum. Photo / MFAT
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at the Pacific Islands Forum. Photo / MFAT

It haunted her the other night at the New Zealand Music Awards when one of the luvvies who won a prize taunted her to go there. It's a rum old do when the woke are out-wokeing the woke, don't you think?

It's all of us, the taxpayer who will inevitably be paying for the rectification of the mistake.

Anyway, Grant Robertson is leading negotiations. The National Party, quite rightly, is pleading with them to pull the pin.

One fears common sense is not going to prevail here. The story seems to be that the Government, who can't afford to write cheques for Treaty issues outside established Treaty protocol, has worked out if it slips the local council the money by way of a loan, the council can be seen to be the one who solves the problem. All this is doing, is dragging yet another state entity into a mess it doesn't belong in.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson has been shoulder-tapped to sort the Ihumātao mess. File photo / Mark Mitchell
Finance Minister Grant Robertson has been shoulder-tapped to sort the Ihumātao mess. File photo / Mark Mitchell

Do remember, because clearly this lot haven't, that this is none of our business. This is a deal done between a group who owned the land, and another group who wanted the land.

The deal was scrutinised, and signed off. Some of those within the selling group weren't overly pleased with the way it went down, but this still doesn't make it anyone's business other than the two parties concerned.

Do remember that some within the party that sold the land actually liked and wanted the deal. Do remember the reason the party that bought the land wanted to for a couple of reasons, profit, because they build houses for a living, but also for supply because the area is desperately short of homes in a so-called crisis.

This was a property deal, but somehow because some see the land as significant and they didn't like the sale, and despite going through the regulatory process, placards needed to be erected so lawful business could not be commenced and more worryingly a sticky beak prime minister couldn't help herself and dug a massive hole for her government.

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And indeed as it turns out, it's all of us, the taxpayer who will inevitably be paying for the rectification of the mistake.

The mistake being precedent. No matter how you slice what the Government is trying to do, it is quite rightly going to enrage those who through the proper channels of the Treaty settlement process thought they had a deal.

Mike Hosking. Photo / supplied
Mike Hosking. Photo / supplied

Part of that deal was they could come back to the table if other deals significantly changed the landscape. Ihumātao changes the landscape.

It's lawyers at dawn, it's years of protracted scrapping, it's racial upset and unrest, and it's the past needlessly dug up and reignited.

They are walking into a political, cultural, racial, and fiscal minefield. And it seems they don't want to see that.