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Ihumaatao policing waste of taxpayer resource

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Ihumaatao protest leader Pania Newton says the police made a mistake by escalating numbers at Ihumaatao.

The lawyer, who is being courted by political parties for her leadership of the occupation, spoke at a forum at the University of Auckland's Waipapa Marae.

The protest site has been relatively calm since Deputy Police Commissioner Wally Haumaha stepped in to defuse tensions when police ramped up their presence after receiving what they said was intelligence that the protest group intended to reoccupy an area that is subject of a trespass order.

Ms Newton says both sides agreed to deescalate.

"That discussion came about when the police discovered they had made a mistake in escalating and wasting taxpayer resources in employing police officers when we are just down here being Maaori and we are just down here being kaitiaki, we are down here doing activities that are peaceful and positive and passive resistance," she says.

Ms Newton says discussions facilitated by the Kiingitanga have so far not produced any solutions.

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