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Ed Sheeran

Social licence to develop Ihumātao lost

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A leader of Save Our Unique Landscape says Fletcher has lost the social licence to build at Ihumātao.

The company has consent to build 480 homes on former farmland designated at a special housing area, but it has agreed to suspend work while efforts are made to resolve SOUL's blockade of the land.

Qiane Matata Sipu says the visit to Ihumātao on Saturday by Kiingi Tuheitia and several hundred Kiingitanga members had energised the occupiers.

His invitation for SOUL as well as the whānau of Makaurau and Pūkaki Marae, Te Kawerau a Maki and other affected iwi to meet at Hopuhopu later this week is a step forward.

"I think it's been made clear Fletchers has lost the social licence to build. What we have seen around the motu has been a huge awakening of what has been happening here at Ihumātao in terms of the bigger picture of what the people of Ihumātao have had to face around the desecration of the awa, the moana, the maunga and all of those sorts of things," she says.

Qiane Matata Sipu says while Fletcher chose to deal with Te Kawerau a Maki, there are other iwi who whakapapa to the whenua.



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