Taxpayers should not foot the bill for Ihumātao

The Government will open a Pandora’s Box if it spends even a single cent of taxpayer money on cleaning up the mess it made at Ihumātao, Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins says.

“The Ihumatao situation is a problem of Jacinda Ardern’s own making, and taxpayers should not be bailing her out.

“It’s difficult to fathom that with more than 20,000 Kiwi families currently waiting for a home the Government is prepared to spend millions stopping 480 much-needed houses from being built.

“The Prime Minister needs to explain why she thinks it’s appropriate to meddle in private property rights with taxpayers’ money, because she will be setting an appalling precedent.

“The Ihumātao deal will place a question mark over all full and final treaty settlements, and the protestors at Shelly Bay will know they’ve only got to sit tight and wait for the Government to step in.

“Jacinda Ardern really should have got more for the $150,000 she has already burned on $325-dollar-an-hour consultants. If their answer was to throw even more taxpayer money at the problem then she should ask for her money back.

“The decision should have been an easy one. The Prime Minister had no right to get involved in the first place other than to tell protestors to go home, which is what she should do now.

“Between the $330,000 pay-out to settle Trevor Mallard’s defamation suit and the millions more set to be spent cleaning up Jacinda Ardern’s bungling at Ihumātao, taxpayers are really digging deep at the moment to clean up Labour’s poor decisions.”