Simon Bridges has called on Ihumātao protesters to go home so houses can be built.
The National leader claims Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern set an appalling precedent by halting construction and needs to right the wrong.
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There were several tense moments on the front line at Ihumātao this week, including protester Anikaaro Harawira-Havili caught racially abusing an officer after police numbers swelled and things turned sour.
"Another foreigner occupying our whenua in Aotearoa and then not even letting us on our own," she said in a widely circulated video. "F**k off back to your own country."
Now, after three long weeks, Bridges says the protest must come to an end.
"The Prime Minister's missing in action and she needs to show leadership," he says.
Occupiers say they don't hold the same views as the woman who abused the policeman.
But earlier in the week former MP Hone Harawira took to Facebook calling the police "pigs" and warning them: "get those white f**kers off that front line or this shit is gonna blow".
Harawira declined to be interviewed about the post on Sunday.
Bridges believes Ardern has given protesters the wrong idea.
"The fact that the Prime Minister has halted the building, she's allowed things to escalate. Yes it was happening before but she's given it a profile and significance," he says.
Ardern disagrees and has reiterated the Government's focus is on finding a solution.
"It's up to the leader of the Opposition to take his own position and it's not up to me to determine that position," she says.
Ardern did however call out Harawira's post, saying it was "totally unacceptable" and she didn't want to give him a platform to discuss it any further.
Unlike politicians, those on the front line at Ihumātao on Sunday were as united as ever.
Police are still keeping a close watch, but after reducing their numbers, there has been a renewed sense of calm.
So as the protest enters its fourth week, the Opposition leader is making his views on the Ihumātao dispute clear.
"It's time to go home so we can see houses being built," Bridges says.