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Ed Sheeran

Ihumātao wheatfield no wāhi tapu - Jones

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New Zealand First Minister Shane Jones says the occupiers at Ihumātao need to be prepared to do trade offs if the row is to be settled.

Mr Jones has been slammed for his criticism of Save Our Unique Landscape and its leader Pania Newton, who he has said seems to be auditioning for a career in politics.

The former Waitangi protest leader says in fact he is impressed by the slick campaign Soul has run on social media.

But he says people are buying into a story that doesn't always ring true.

"This notion that the entirety of Ihumātao is a wāhi tapu is fiction. It's a distortion of the term wāhi tapu. You can't have something that is a genuine wāhi tapu area where historically wheat and food was grown by Tainui to feed Auckland. People who are making those assertions show they know not a great deal about our culture but they are prepared to usher in a Māori terminology when it suits them and usher them out," Mr Jones says.

There is a conflict of values going on, and he sees value in the land being made available for housing.


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