Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei seeks legal advise

By Tepara Koti
Housing Minister Nick Smith

Despite Housing Minister Nick Smith speaking earlier today about a specific provision in the Tāmaki Collective Redress Act which states the Crown can sell surplus land for housing purposes, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei has sought legal advise.

The hapū has instructed its lawyers to advise them on the legality of the Crown’s intention to dispose of land in Auckland. 

They will pay special focus on the Government’s position in how this sits outside of the first right of refusal process, as set out in the Ngā Mana Whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau Collective Redress Deed.  

A press release from Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei states they are surprised and disappointed that the Crown did not engage with the hapū directly prior to making its announcement.

Deputy Chairman Ngarimu Blair says, “We have taken a keen interest in the Government’s plan for the release of Crown land in Auckland, which it has earmarked for housing purposes. 

We recognise, and are concerned about, the significant shortage of land available for residential houses in the Auckland market.

We have experience in this area and would like to be part of the solution. We would be happy to evaluate the opportunity at market value.”

While Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei expects to receive legal advice shortly, the hapū will not make any further comment.