Duncan Garner: Dangerous for Jacinda Ardern to get involved in private land sale at Ihumātao

Opinion 29/07/2019

This land protest out by Auckland Airport at Ihumātao - if it is so special, so significant, and so unique and worth visiting to pay homage to those who have gone before, then why did few people know about it? 

Why wasn't there some kind of protection already over it?

Why don't we visit it alongside MOTAT and Auckland Zoo as kids?

Most Kiwis will not have heard of it until now. There's been a small, silent protest on it by Pania Newton, who is regarded as eloquent, intelligent, clever - and a troublemaker. 

But once the professional protesters or the 'rent a mob' hear about it, they all come to town. 'Yeah, that's us, we care, where do we park our tent?'

For a start, what sort of job do you have that allows you sit at a protest flapping your gums for days, weeks, and months on end?

And where were all these protesters when the land was sold to Fletcher?

The land has been in private ownership for 150 years. But here's my biggest concern - it's dangerous and precedent-setting for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to get involved and stop the construction of houses on private land.

She wants talks? What happens when the next group is unhappy, and the next?

My neighbour is putting up a 550 square metre, six-metre high so-called 'house' on our border - a huge sun-blocking eyesore. It's his private land, but I'm not happy. Can the PM come and help me? 

Anyway, she can't do them much good at Ihumātao either - she's on the slow boat to Tokelau, which has a population a third of the size of Kaitaia, and 1500 people await her arrival.

Duncan Garner is host of The AM Show.