The social media pages have been criticised for being misleading by looking too similar to SOUL’s social media pages which use the similar name “Protect Ihumātao”.
A spokesperson for Te Kawerau a Maki, Pita Turei, said that he was at the meeting where the “Protecting Ihumātao” social media campaign had been discussed.
He said that the similarity of the pages to SOUL’s social media was done on purpose and was a “tactical move” by the iwi authority.
The pages which appeared online on Monday shared articles and quotes in support of the Fletcher Building development and the deal made between Fletcher and Te Kawerau a Maki.
Kelly Marie Francis, a spokesperson for SOUL said that it was obvious that the online pages had been made to look like SOUL’s social media.
She said that she believed that the pages were shut down because of the negative response.
“They would have been receiving too much flack for it,” she said.
Although the Facebook and Twitter pages for “Protecting Ihumātao” have been deleted, the website is still active. Te Kawerau a Maki has been criticised for paying for this website to sit above SOUL’s website in Google search results relating to Ihumātao.
- Charlotte Muru-Lanning is Tainui and Ngati Maniapoto. She is based in Auckland, New Zealand. She has a BA in sociology and film and media studies and is currently completing a Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism at Auckland University of Technology.