June 28, 2015
Ngati Whatua seeks housing review
Ngati Whatua o Orakei could find itself on the outer as other Tamaki Makaurau iwi talk to the government about how they can participate in its plans to increase housing supply in Auckland.
That’s because the hapu has asked the High Court for a judicial review of the government’s decisions and announcements around the Auckland Crown Land Programme, and in particular a block in Moire Rd in Massey.
Housing Minister Nick Smith says the land is suitable for sale to developers on the condition they use a percentage of it for affordable or social housing.
But so far there is no firm policy or mechanism set out and no contracts signed, making it hard to see what the court can rule on.
The government turned down a request for a joint approach for a declaratory judgment on whether such crown land can be declared surplus without triggering the right of first refusal provided for in the Tamaki Makaurau Collective Settlement, which includes Ngati Whatua.
Hapu spokesperson Ngarimu Blair says achieving clarity over the extent of the right is a fundamental point of principle and economically important.
He says Ngati Whatua will continue to contribute constructively to discussions involving the crown and 12 other hapu and iwi about the application of the housing protocol.
But there’s no guarantee the crown will let them in the door, given the government’s long-standing policy of not negotiating with claimants while they are litigating.
Meanwhile the rest of the 13 iwi are getting ready for a workshop next week on how they can take part in developing crown land.
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