Ihumātao protest: Social media campaign taking over proper discussions - iwi leader

An iwi leader claims Ihumātao demonstrations have gone beyond the discussion that needs to take place about the land's future.

The land dispute at Ihumātao is gathering steam, drawing thousands of protesters over the weekend.

The Government announced on Friday it will step in to broker talks with parties over the contested land.

Iwi advocate Pita Turei told The AM Show the voices of iwi and whanau have been drowned out by the social media campaign.

Turei said the bigger picture needed to be looked at.

"Grandad makes an agreement, thinks it's the best that can be achieved, then the grand daughter comes along and says 'no way, this is wrong, and I've got 20,000 Facebook friends to prove it'.

"Although Pania's [Newton] fighting for land to be a park for all New Zealanders - if you read the Treaty settlement documents - they want houses for people," he told The AM Show.

Fletcher bought the land in 2016 from a family who'd owned it since it was confiscated 150 years earlier.

Turei added the houses were not being built on burial grounds, which was some common misinformation.

"The land we're talking about for the houses is where we used to grow wheat for Auckland city."

He said, however, he understood protesters' frustrations.

"It's the frustration of a generation of Māori people - frustrated that we only got the crust back, frustrated that they feel like iwi leadership has sold them out and not demanded more."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has put a pause on any construction until there is a resolution to the long-running conflict.