On an interview with TVNZ1's Breakfast, NZ First MP Shane Jones said he was disappointed that Tainui, “the richest tribe in the country”, did not make an attempt to purchase the land at Ihumātao themselves.
His comments come after the Kīngitanga movement yesterday, led by King Tuuheitia and backed by the powerful Tainui iwi, said resolution of the long running Ihumātao occupation lies with the Coalition Government.
The occupation of the land earmarked for housing development by Fletcher Building began months ago, and Mr Jones agrees that it should be used to build houses in Auckland.
"I actually happen to think it should be housing. I think that there is a genuine need amongst South Auckland Māori Families, in particular Tainui.”
"I'm disappointed Tainui never purchased the land themselves - they are the richest tribe in the country. For every settlement the Crown enters into, 17 cents out of every dollar goes for free to Tainui.” he added.
Mr Jones said that the Tainui iwi decided that although they wanted the Government to intervene, they themselves were incapable of buying the land.
The NZ First MP also downplayed suggestions that taxpayers would have to fork out the money for the land: “We have zero appetitite for spending any money on Ihumātao until there is a case that passes a high threshold, and I’ve seen zero evidence that has happened.”