Time for Ardern to come clean on Ihumātao

Opposition Leader Judith Collins is calling on Jacinda Ardern to be upfront with New Zealanders before the election and say whether a Crown deal for Ihumātao is on the table.

“New Zealand is in the grip of a jobs crisis with more than 200,000 people out of work and our economy in decline. If the Government is comfortable with struggling Kiwis footing the bill for Ihumātao it will send a chill down the spine of taxpayers and property owners,” Ms Collins says.

Today marks one year since the Prime Minister’s ill-conceived intervention at Ihumātao stopped more houses being built there than KiwiBuild has delivered so far.

“This clumsy and incompetent Government claimed it would build more houses but there is still no sign of the 480 homes planned for Ihumātao a full year after the PM stopped the diggers in their tracks.

“With the election just around the corner, Jacinda Ardern now owes it to voters to be transparent about whether any taxpayer funds will be used to settle this dispute under a Labour Government.

“She should either rule out a Crown deal now, or be upfront about what her Finance Minister is cooking up behind closed doors.

“The ramifications of a Crown deal go much further than the lost opportunity of building houses. It will call full and final treaty settlements into question and set an appalling precedent. 

“If there is a deal on the cards, Labour needs to explain to voters why they think it is appropriate to meddle in private property rights with taxpayers’ money.”