The Project co-host Kanoa Lloyd has made an impassioned plea for Māori to stop "getting ignored" in light of the Government's consideration to loan money to Auckland Council to purchase Ihumātao from Fletcher Construction.
On Tuesday's episode, Lloyd discussed Finance Minister Grant Robertson's response to the rumour, saying she was surprised to learn he was the minister in charge of Ihumātao as she'd "never heard him speak about it".
In regards to Ihumātao, Robertson told reporters on Tuesday morning: "I understand this is an issue where obviously there's hugely strongly-held views by mana whenua."
"According to mana whenua, according to the group led by Pania Newton, the minister hasn't spoken to them yet," Lloyd argued.
"Today in his press conference, Robertson acknowledged the need to work with kīngitanga. Kīngitanga told us they have not heard from him.
"Robertson hasn't visited Ihumātao and hasn't responded to the question that we asked him today: When will that happen? The one stakeholder he has met with so far is Fletchers. They are the group who stands to make money if they sell this land back.
"Today the news is saying that if the rumoured Fletchers deal goes ahead, taxpayers' money would be spent to buy that land back... don't forget the people occupying the land, the thousands who showed up to support them, we all pay taxes too."
A teary-eyed Lloyd said "it really doesn't look like" Robertson is in charge of Ihumātao, urging the minister to "talk to us, talk to those taxpayers whose money you might be spending, talk to the media, talk to mana whenua and talk to the kīngitanga".
When asked by co-host Jesse Mulligan why Ihumātao makes her so emotional, Lloyd said "the silence from politicians" leads her to believe "Māori issues aren't important issues to this Government".
"It makes me feel like the things that are important to us don't matter to them as much... what's going on at Ihumātao, this fight to protect this land, is happening all up and down the country.
"I feel tired on behalf of Māori that we just keep getting ignored."
Robertson declined The Project's invitation to appear on the show.
Watch the video above.