Māori King to visit Ihumātao amid speculation of impending resolution to land dispute

The Māori King is set to arrive at Ihumātao today amid speculation of an impending resolution to the land dispute at the South Auckland site.

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Pita Turei talks about recent developments at the South Auckland site which protestors have been occupying. Source: Breakfast

Yesterday, Fletcher Building removed some equipment from the site, sacred to Māori, which has been occupied by protestors since July last year.

Fletcher Building bought the land in 2016 and construction of 480 homes has been on hold as hundreds of protestors occupy the land to stop the development.

The removal of fencing yesterday sparked speculation an agreement is on the horizon, but iwi advocate Pita Turei doesn't think a resolution will come today.

"I think any settlement and any agreement will arrive at compromise for everybody at the table otherwise there is no outcome. Unless we are all prepared to compromise something than there can be no resolution," Mr Turei told TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning.

When asked if that would be today, he wasn't hopeful.

"Not today, the rule of poker is you don't count your money while you're still sitting at the table. The table is still there, we need to let that table get on with what its got to do and when that table has resolved all of its issues then we can talk about how we are going to move forward.

"We cannot assume, we need hard information and part of the problem with Ihumātao is there's a lot of assumption. The land was stolen, therefore it must come back."

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A hui is staking place tonight, and the Government says talks are progressing towards a resolution. Source: 1 NEWS

However, King Tuheitia's visit to the site at 10am today will be hugely symbolic. It is understood he will come and collect a personal flag which has been flying at the site since August when the Kīngitanga became directly involved in the protest.

At the time, King Tuheitia said the flag will remain flying until there is a resolution is made.

Yesterday protest organiser Pania Newton also said a resolution would be made within hours if not the coming days - however she's the only one saying there is a possible deal there.

Yesterday Fletcher Building came out in response to the fences being removed saying it was just making minor changes to its traffic management plan because of reduced activity on the site.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson said talks were progressing, but there was no announcement at this time.

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In his address, Bruce Hassell defended the company’s handling of the controversial development. Source: 1 NEWS