May 17, 2019
Māori land eyed for new city
Owners and trustees of one of the largest Māori land blocks in the Bay of Plenty are fighting over plans to turn it into a satellite city for Tauranga.
The Māori Appellate Court is hearing an appeal against the refusal by the Māori Land Court to put 50 hectares of the 24 hectares owned by Te Tumu Kaituna 14 into general title, so it can be sold to fund development of the rest.
One of the 4000 owners, Rawiri Bhana, says the trustees claimed 68 percent support, but that was from a survey of just 123 owners.
He says the trustees have the backing of Tauranga City Council.
"They’ve just said basically we're going to build a new city, we're going to convert that 240 ha and that's just our block, there's three other small Māori land blocks in there and two large scale developers who own land either side so they all have a vested interest to unlock the land because they have plants to build a new city continuing on from Papamoa all the way to Maketū," Mr Bhana says.
The trustees say owners will get priority to buy some of the sections, but few whānau would have the likely $700,000 asking price.
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