The Prime Minister must confirm how much taxpayer money she is spending on a purchase of occupied land at Ihumātao, says the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.
Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says, “Perhaps the Prime Minister thinks she can sign off the political year with cheerful news of progress at Ihumātao. But this Christmas present for illegal occupiers doesn’t come free. Taxpayers struggling to fund their own Christmas shopping deserve to know how much the Government is spending to buy the occupied land from Fletcher Building.”
“The Prime Minister’s capitulation to protestors sets an incredibly damaging precedent for taxpayers. The message seems to be that if you feel entitled to a piece of land and can round up enough mates to occupy it, the Government will buy it for you. This undermines full and final Treaty settlements, encouraging a tidal wave of illegal occupations.”
“Already, protestors have been emboldened to occupy land at Opua and Shelly Bay. Can the Prime Minister rule out purchases of these sites? If not, how much taxpayer money is she willing to put on the line at these sites and at future occupations across the country?”
“We will be watching closely for answers to these questions at today’s post-Cabinet press conference.”