Local Board fears new bill could threaten Auckland reserves

By Wepiha Te Kanawa

An Auckland local board member is concerned a new government bill could lead to reserves in Auckland and potentially around the country being developed.

Maungakiekie-Tāmaki local board fear the Government's Development Enabling Bill could put all reserves around Auckland in danger of development.

Maungakiekie -Tāmaki Local Board Chair Josephine Bartley says, “It's very hard for communities to know that his bill is happening if the Government doesn’t inform them that there is this Bill and that could affect the reserves in their area.”

A project supported by Ngāti Paoa to build 300 homes, a marae and waterfront restaurants at the reserve was criticised by the Glen Innes community.

“The fact that there was no public consultation, there's no information out there for communities to understand what this bill is about and what this bill means.”

The Pt England Development Enabling Bill is the first of its kind that allows development on reserves. Josephine supports Ngāti Paoa's claim to the land but says they may not have a say in the end.

“There's no mention of the bill about Ngāti Pāoa or the treaty settlement, so technically what this bill will do is open up for development on reserves by any developer.”

Te Kāea tried to contact a spokesperson from Ngāti Paoa but no one was available to appear on camera today, but they did release this statement.

“Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith made it plain when he announced the Bill that it would allow for housing on 11.69 ha of the reserve and that ‘Ngāti Paoa will have the right to develop the land’. Dr Smith also said it would help to resolve Ngāti Paoa’s Treaty settlement,” Mr Rawiri says.

Minster of Housing and Development Nick Smith says Ngāti Paoa will have the right to develop the land.