February 15, 2016
Heart overwhelms head at Shelly Bay
The chief executive of the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust says the heart overwhelmed the head in the vote over whether to sell harbourside land a Shelly Bay.
The trust won a narrow majority in favour of selling the former air force base, but well short of the 75 percent needed to allow the deal to proceed.
Jason Fox says it was hamstrung by suppression orders in a case brought by the the Serious Fraud office.
That meant it could not tell Taranaki Whanui members why the land was bought in 2009 for $15 million, why the deal to develop it in partnership with filmmaker Sir Peter Jackson fell over shortly after, and who was responsible.
He says many members also feel a strong emotional attachment to land.
"Because we spent so long fighting for the damn thing we find it difficult to make a decision based on our heart and our mind and figure out what is actually the best solution to move forward so we had a lot of people talking about their attachment to the place even after only seven, eight years of owning it and the fact it wasn't even purchased for papakainga or cultural redress, it was always purchased for development," Mr Fox says.
The trust is preparing other options for the land.
Copyright © 2016, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com