Work on a shopping centre redevelopment of Napier's former inner-city railways marshalling yards remains stalled amid some mystery over when the project will resume.

The work stopped more than two months ago after groundwork and installation following clearing of the last signs of its railyards days, a quarter-century as a mainly free-parking zone known to some as "the gravel pit", and its use as an occasional illicit dumping ground.

On 1.28 hectares landbanked for use in Waitangi Tribunal treaty-claim settlement, the development's plans include a single-level complex for sister big-box brands Rebel Sport and home and hardware specialist Briscoes, and a third retailer, along with parking for 161 vehicles.

It is being undertaken by a business arm of post-settlement governance entity Mana Ahuriri.


Recognised by Government as representing seven Napier and area hapu, Mana Ahuriri in November 2016 signed a deed of settlement with the Crown, but completion of the settlement awaits a tribunal decision in a mandate dispute heard by the tribunal in Napier earlier this year.

While all consents had been obtained from the Napier City Council, Mana Ahuriri Holdings director and joint-venture partner Warren Ladbrook, of Advance Properties Group, said the delays relate to engineering issues, which has this week been confirmed by council team leader resource consents Paul O'Shaughnessy.

Lead contractor Gemco Construction managing director Darren Diack, whose company oversaw the ground work and cleared the site early July, leaving just a shipping container, said last month the company is just waiting for the go-ahead.

The land is most relative to WAI 55, which was in 1988 one of the earliest claims lodged with the Tribunal, on behalf of seven Napier and area hapu with interests in large pre-earthquake inland waterway Te Whanganui a Orotu, otherwise known generally as the Napier inner harbour.

It precipitated the tribunal's most substantive series of hearings, in the mid-1990s, with a finding in favour of the claimants followed by a remedies hearing in 1998.

But with Government deciding on a large natural groupings approach to settlement it was joined by other claims in the area.

Earlier this year the tribunal heard under urgency a claim concerning the Crown's acceptance of the ratification results for the Ahuriri Hapū Deed Settlement and post-settlement governance entity.

The claimants allege that in doing so the Crown failed to protect the interests of hapu Ngāti Parau despite being aware of Ngāti Parau's concerns.


A spokesperson for the tribunal says a report is in writing phase. While the applicants were hopeful of an outcome by the end of the year, the spokesperson said the Tribunal was unable to give an indication of when the report will be released.