November 10, 2015
Heritage site purge defended
Auckland mayor Len Brown says the reduction of culturally significant sites in the Unitary Plan is a reflection of better relations with iwi rather than an attack on their rights.
Council will vote on Thursday to remove almost 1400 of the 3600 sites where a cultural assessment is needed before development can start.
The provision was dubbed a taniwha tax by lobby groups like Democracy Action.
Mr Brown says the seven councils which merged into the Auckland super city had different processes and standards for flagging sites of cultural significance.
"So really over the last five years we've put a lot of energy into assessing with iwi what sites need to be appropriately acknowledged in property registers and in our records and what don't, and that's really what this reflects," he says.
Len Brown says the increased unity and confidence of Tamaki Makaurau iwi has been a highlight of his time as mayor, which will end at the next election.
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