Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is set to speak to media about progress in attempts to settle the ongoing occupation at Ihumātao following her meeting with the Māori King.

Ardern was today scheduled to have a private sit-down with King Tūheitia during a visit to Tūrangawaewae Marae in Ngāruawāhia for his annual coronation commemoration, Koroneihana.

The King has been acting as a mediator between protesters who opposed housing development by Fletcher Building at Ihumātao, in Auckland's Mangere, and the iwi authority that has endorsed the deal - and at least four meetings have been held.

The Government is not party to the talks.


Its position so far has been to let mana whenua involved find a resolution.

Earlier, speaking on Tūrangawaewae Marae , Ardern said while the Government would be there for hard conversations within Māoridom, she recognised sometimes she could not be the seat at the head of the table.

"You can guarantee that we will work there alongside, that we will bind together, that we will hold fast, we will hold firm," she said.

Occupation leader Pania Newton was not at the marae on Tuesday and said her Save Our Unique Landscape group would not be represented on the day, but in the morning told the Herald talks were still ongoing.

"We haven't reached an agreement," she said, declining to provide details.

King Tūheitia was set to make his main address at Tūrangawaewae on Wednesday, a spokesman said.

Media have been kept out of the event for the second year in a row.

The King visited Ihumātao at the start of this month - flanked by a contingent of hundreds – leaving the Kingitanga flag flying on the site until an agreement is reached.


Ihumātao is thought to be one of the earliest places settled in Tamaki Makaurau and those occupying the land say the site is of historical and cultural significance, and that it was taken by the Crown during the New Zealand Wars confiscations.

Fletcher Building hopes to develop 480 homes on the site in Mangere 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.

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

They have launch a petition calling for Ardern to visit and say they'll march on her electoral office in Mount Albert, Auckland, on Thursday to hand it over if she doesn't accept before then.

She says she has no plans to go to Ihumātao before then, but has not ruled it out down the line.

Inquiry into uplifts

Meanwhile, the terms of reference for a Māori-led inquiry into Oranga Tamariki were presented at Tūrangawaewae on Tuesday.

The review is one of four being carried out following the publication of a video of an attempted uplift of a six-day-old baby in May, and has been called for by Māori leadership.

The Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency held a second hui on the probe on Monday at the invitation of the Kīngitanga.

"The time has come for change and a solution that is for Māori, by Māori, with Māori given the escalating disquiet in this country by our people," Commissioning Agency chair Merepeka Raukawa-Tait said.

"The State is signalling through that choice that it can do better and values its own answers over ours – well that is not the truth."

The agency says the inquiry will broadly ask what parts of the system are working for tamariki and whānau, and what isn't.

The Ombudsman, Children's Commissioner and Oranga Tamariki are all also running inquiries in the uplifts.