The Dominion Post
Maori King invites mana whenua to hui
The Maori King has formally invited those occupying the land at Ihuma tao to a meeting to find a solution.
Kiingi Tu heitia visited the disputed site on Saturday morning, flanked by a Kiingitanga contingent numbering in the hundreds.
A group is occupying the land near the protected O tuataua Stonefields in Mangere, south Auckland, to protest against a housing development planned by Fletcher Building.
The land, which was confiscated by the Crown in the 1860s, is wa hi tapu or sacred to Ma ori.
About a dozen members of protest group Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL) have been living on the land for the past three years but events have ramped up in recent weeks after the group was served an eviction notice.
On Saturday, Kiingitanga spokesman Rahui Papa announced the king was inviting mana whenua leaders to a hui (meeting) in Hopuhopu in the Waikato, later this week.
The hui would take a ‘‘tikanga’’ approach – giving parties the opportunity to air their issues.
The Kiingitanga has previously supported the project but spokeswoman Rukumoana Schaafhausen said they wanted to find a solution for all mana whenua.
The meeting would not include Fletchers, or the Government, Schaafhausen said.
Kiingi Tu heitia was welcomed on to Ihumatao with a formal po whiri, and the Kiingitanga flag was raised outside the main tent.
The flag will remain at Ihuma tao, and will be returned to Kiingi Tu heitia once a resolution is reached.