A controversial Northland beach property development has been approved.
Hearings commissioners appointed by Auckland Council have just released their decision on the coastal development at Te Arai south of Mangawhai - 100km north of Auckland.
A statement from Te Uri o Hau Settlement Trust chair Rawson Wright said the approval of the development was hugely significant for the hapu, coming after years of opposition to any development.
The development of 46 luxury houses near the beach can now proceed.
"This is wonderful news. Te Uri o Hau purchased the 616 hectare Mangawhai North Forest in 2002 as part of the commercial redress package in our treaty settlement. After many years, we can now proceed with a development delivering an economic return to the hapu, which can be invested into services and jobs to support our 7000 members, while also protecting the environment.
"Part of the overall development is an offer to gift 172 hectares of the forest to Auckland Council. This is one of a number of conservation measures which will safeguard the environment at Te Arai. It includes the entire beach front area and dunes, and the parts of the forest with the highest conservation values," Wright said.
The development was strongly opposed by some locals, concerned about endangered species and their habitats.