Iwi's ambition to regain ownership of Whanganui land, including around the airport and Pākaitore, has been revealed.

A document presented to the Whanganui District Council by the Office of Treaty Settlements last month has been obtained by the Whanganui Chronicle and outlines what the Whanganui Land Settlement Negotiation Trust (WLSNT) hopes to get out of negotiations with the Crown.

The trust said iwi will negotiate for ownership - by return or purchase - of land around the airport, harbour and city endowment land, as well as Pākaitore, also known as Moutoa Gardens.

It also wants to discuss co-management with the Whanganui District Council of Pukenamu/Queens Park, Kokohuia Wetlands, Gonville Domain and Horrocks Park Reserve.


Some Crown-owned land around Kai Iwi Beach is also up for negotiation but exact sites and administration arrangements are to be confirmed.

Iwi negotiators have also asked to be involved in the protection of Lake Virginia, as well as Lakes Wiritoa, Kaitoke, Pauri and Westmere (Roko Mokia) alongside the council.

They have proposed a "Lakes Trust" whereby the two bodies would co-manage the lakes.

The chair of the trust, Ken Mair, wouldn't comment, saying negotiations were at a sensitive time and were supposed to be confidential.

Whanganui mayor Hamish McDouall also said it was disappointing the document had been leaked and it was important to be aware of the stage negotiations were at.

The Crown and the trust were hoping to reach an agreement in principal early next year.

Though the council is not involved in the negotiations, it has been asked for its support, particularly around council-owned or controlled land.

Iwi negotiators have asked for Pākaitore to be vested to the Whanganui Land Settlement Trust.
Iwi negotiators have asked for Pākaitore to be vested to the Whanganui Land Settlement Trust.

"In principal, this is about saying the iwi and the OTS [Office of Treaty Settlements] are negotiating on these things that concern council and we support those negotiations.


"So it's about giving a green light to talk."

McDouall said a lot of the land in question, such as Pākaitore and the lakes, were owned by the Department of Conservation not the council.

"In general, I think our position is to support iwi aspirations initially. Obviously, it's pretty high-level stuff at the moment and we'll have to see the detail as time goes on.

"[I am] supporting iwi aspirations because money will be coming into Whanganui, government money, and we want to maximise that charge of money.

"The reality is [Whanganui] iwi will become a significant commercial entity upon settlement. The details of that we will get to discuss as time goes on."

Pukenamu Queen's Park could be co-managed under a treaty settlement deal.
Pukenamu Queen's Park could be co-managed under a treaty settlement deal.

McDouall said there was a benefit to all of Whanganui and not just the iwi.

"The Treaty Settlement Trust have been very clear about that. They see a strong community not just being a strong iwi community, a strong Māori community ... also the entire community.

"Look at [Thursday's] Provincial Growth Fund announcement. It was iwi, council and central government joining together and bringing money into the region. I see it as positive - any government money into Whanganui is quite great."

The document also states the WLSNT would like to be more involved with social services.

Whanganui mayor Hamish McDouall
Whanganui mayor Hamish McDouall

"WLSNT's vision is to improve the wellbeing and prosperity of the Whanganui community," it says.

"WLSNT seek a strategic tripartite relationship with WDC and relevant Crown agencies to explore an integrated approach to provision of social services," it said.

In the document, the Crown's Office of Treaty Settlements has asked the Whanganui District Council to consider the trust's aspirations to have the airport endowment land returned.

The council has also been asked to consider vesting Pākaitore to the trust and to provide a right of first refusal over the remaining endowment properties in the city.

The Crown office also wants the council to consider being "tenants in common" at Pukenamu/Queens Park, enter into co-management agreements for the Reserves requested, and set up a Lakes Trust to manage the lakes.

The Council has also been asked to explore the creation of a social entity with WLSNT and the Crown.