Sources have told RNZ the Crown is considering lending money to the council so it can purchase the land from Fletcher Residential, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fletcher Building.
Fletcher is seeking $40 million for the property – more than double the $19m it paid in 2014.
RNZ understands the government is keen to get the controversial land dispute wrapped up by the new year to avoid it overshadowing the annual pilgrimage to Rātana and Waitangi.
There are two issues with Ihumātao, one is a wider existential issue and the other is Realpolitik.
The wider existential issue is that a new generation of Māori and Pakeha activists have rejected the pittance paid to Māori as compensation for Treaty grievances and see that pittance as compounding the historic injustice, not healing it. For us, and I most certainly count myself amongst their number, the Treaty must be honoured, not settled.
The Treaty process has always been unjust, it has always been a chain of slavery used by the coloniser to entrench their immoral gains, not heal them. Overturning that process will make the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind anxious and frightened, but it shouldn’t. No one is demanding the wholesale return of NZ, what they are demanding is real partnership moving forward and an acknowledgement that the process to date has been as unjust as the initial theft and confiscation of land.
This is a cultural maturity and a positive step for us as a people, it will be uncomfortable and at times it will be difficult, but to heal sometimes we need to let go of that toxic legacy of colonialism.
We have nothing to fear but our petty bigotries brothers and sisters.
The second issue is Realpolitik. Labour must get Ihumātao off the political agenda before Christmas for two reasons.
The first is that if this drags into election year, National will use it to spread racist fear mongering. Remember the Foreshore and Seabed fiasco? Gerry Brownlee ran around the country screaming, ‘Da Maaaaaaaaaaaoris want to steal our beaches!!!!!! Da Maaaaaaaaaaaoris want to steal our beaches!!!!!!”, when you consider the way National are intending to play to our worst angels this election, allowing Ihumātao to drag into the election year would be disastrous.
The second Realpolitik reason Labour need to deal with Ihumātao before Christmas is because if they don’t, it gives the Māori Party a chance at resurrection in one of the Māori electorates and with a small Party vote could bring in 2 MPs and hand power to National.
So Labour will cop it from both sides of the Political spectrum if they don’t settle this before Christmas.
Loan Auckland council the money, have Auckland Council buy the land and gift it back to the mana whenua in the form of a public National park that is presided over by the mana whenua and then have Jacinda visit, cue public outpouring of love there on the day, a giant haka for the media and lots of smiling cuddle selfies.
Then, can we bloody well get on with the 2020 election please because we have a second term to desperately try and win so Jacinda can actually try and be transformative this time around.
This should have been sorted months ago.