Ardern won't rule out going to Ihumātao, but no visit this week

The Prime Minister has not ruled out visiting Ihumātao, but says a visit could be a distraction to finding a resolution. 

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A petition with thousands of signatures is to be presented at the Prime Minister’s Mt Albert electorate office on August 22. Source: 1 NEWS

"I haven't ruled it out down the track," Jacinda Ardern said today. 

A petition has been launched calling on Ms Ardern to visit the South Auckland Ihumātao site, which hundreds of people have occupied in opposition to a new Fletchers housing development.

Ms Ardern said the focus of her visiting Ihumātao "tries to place it about being about me, it is not about me". 

"The most important thing here is that we try to find a resolution. We, as the Crown, are absolutely supportive of a process that tries to find a resolution."

"Me visiting doesn't get us closer to a resolution that ultimately needs to come from mana whenua."

But a visit to Ihumātao was not off the cards. 

"I haven't ruled out visiting in the future," she said today. 

However, Ms Ardern isn't planning to visit this week.

"I see it as a distraction to finding a resolution."

Protestors are planning on a hikoi to her Mt Albert electorate on Thursday.

She said being at the table with Kīngitanga was "where resolution would be found".