Topic: Indigenous

Protect Ihumātao campaigners to report breach to the UN

By Leah Te Whata
  • Auckland

Tomorrow, Protect Ihumātao campaigners, Pania Newton and Delwyn Roberts will fly to New York to voice concerns at The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) to address alleged breaches of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) at Ihumātao.

The protect Ihumātao movement persists as opposition to the proposed special housing development continues.

Pania Newton of Save Our Unique Landscape says, "Our stance on the proposed housing development is clear, we do not approve. We want to prevent housing developments on our sacred ancestral land and that is why we are here, to stop Fletcher Building."

Dissatisfied with Government and council response, Pania Newton and Delwyn Roberts are traveling to New York to raise their concerns at the UNPFII.

"The Government and council are yet to respond to our occupation, at the moment we are in negotiations with the tribunal and court proceedings continue in the fight for the return of our lands."

Newton says that the Government and council are in breach of the UNDRIP.

"We will report Government breaches of the UNDRIP in relation to the selling off of our land to Fletchers despite us still being in negotiations and court proceedings for its return."

They hope to have the land added to the Otuataua Stonefields Reserve as promised by Auckland Council in 2007.

"The movement continues, we will keep fighting until this land is returned to its rightful owners."

The Labour Party has scheduled a Māori caucus meeting for next week regarding the issue.