An Auckland iwi has bought a block of Crown land at Hobsonville to build 430 homes - but iwi have failed to bid for the next block offered in nearby Massey.
Prime Minister John Key and Housing Minister Nick Smith attended the handover of the 9ha Hobsonville block yesterday to Ngati Whatua o Kaipara, which had first right of refusal on the land under a 2013 Treaty of Waitangi settlement.
But a collective of 13 iwi, which negotiated last year to be given first option to develop other surplus Crown land for housing across much of Auckland, has failed to bid for the first property offered under the deal, a 9.9ha block at 81-89 Moire Rd in Massey.
Dr Smith said that block would now be offered to the first company in a panel of developers selected to build low-density housing on Crown land.
"MBIE [Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment] has made good progress on the selection process for the three panels for low-, medium- and high-density developments," he said. "We should be in a position within a week or two to be able to announce those preferred development partners."
The process of releasing Crown land for housing has been fraught since last year's Budget allocated $52 million to buy 500ha of surplus land from other Crown agencies for housing. Dr Smith said yesterday that the $52 million would be spent by the end of this financial year in June but was never intended to finance the entire 500ha.