Iwi panel eyes $100m property settlement

By Yvonne Tahana

Glen Tupuhi. Photo / Supplied
Glen Tupuhi. Photo / Supplied

An Independent Maori Statutory Board representative yesterday raised the possibility of $100 million worth of Auckland Council property being used in Tamaki Makaurau Treaty settlements.

Auckland Council Properties is putting up $23 million worth of surplus properties during the first phase of a sell-off.

However, Maori board member Glen Tupuhi said the Government's use of defence land at Narrow Neck in Ngati Whatua o Orakei's settlement was a "hotspot" for community objections because so little land was available for Treaty redress in the city.

Mr Tupuhi asked whether the council could be sure that the land wasn't obtained from Maori by "trickery", and if it was, he wondered whether there were any options for redress for Maori.

Auckland Council Properties chief executive David Rankin said he was confident the properties weren't obtained compulsorily from Maori, such as by use of the Public Works Act. Most of it had been acquired for past projects, he said.

"We have an exhaustive internal process at the council to check out ... how we got properties. We don't claim that's absolutely foolproof because we're dependent on the records."

A spokesman for Treaty Negotiations minister Christopher Finlayson could not confirm that the properties would be suitable for landbanking (where the government puts land aside for settlements). One feature that might make them unsuitable is that they are "pepper-potted" around the region.

- NZ Herald

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