Judith Collins calls on Govt to apologise for 'unlawful' purchase of Ihumātao land - despite National doing similar thing 71 times while in power

Judith Collins is calling for the Government to apologise for its purchase of Ihumātao land after the Auditor-General ruled it illegal, despite the National Party showing the same behaviour 71 times. 

She says Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Housing Minister Megan Woods must apologise for signing off on the deal.

"They were both involved, they both signed off," she told The AM Show on Wednesday.

On Tuesday it was revealed the Auditor-General deemed the Ihumātao deal "unlawful" because Parliament did not approve a new spending category to purchase the land.

The Auditor-General investigated the deal and found that the Government ended up having to create a special spending appropriation in February because the purchase did not fit within existing housing policy.

Woods described the mistake as a "technical error" and said it's "not unusual" - in fact it happened dozens of times while National was in power. 

"This happened 71 times in the last five years of the previous government, totalling half a billion dollars," she said.

Asked about this by The AM Show co-host Ryan Bridge, Collins said she would not apologise for her Party's conduct. 

"If you see my name on any [of the deals] I certainly would [apologise] but I'm not one to apologise on behalf of my Party."

Bridge responded that she can't expect Woods and Robertson to apologise, if she wouldn't. 

"No, no, no this is entirely wrong - the Prime Minister got herself into Ihumātao she had no need to do so, she got herself in there and New Zealand taxpayers have got to pay for it - that's what they need to apologise for. "

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Tuesday the Government was confident it was using funding earmarked for housing. 

"It was funding that was intended to purchase land for housing - that has been our intent - the difference here being, of course, there's a lot of work to go through between all parties to determine where on the land, how it can be most appropriately done and how it can be used for housing for the community.

"We were very clear that this was land [that] once we reached that agreement, that will be utilised for housing".