Tauranga City Council has revoked its decision to give 11 Mission St to the Ōtamataha Trust.

But once again, the council turned down the opportunity to give the historic land directly to the Elms Foundation.

The council voted to "either gift or lease the land to an entity representing both the Ōtamataha Trust and the Elms Foundation".

No such entity exists so, in effect, this buys time for the next bunch of elected members to sort out the details alongside the foundation and the trust.


It was an acknowledgement the council was too divided on the issue to come down one side or another.

As mayor Greg Brownless put it: "A fiasco".

On September 10 the council decided to give the historic land to the trust, which represents the interests of two hapu.

Moves to revoke the decision began almost immediately after the meeting after claims of holes in the information presented to the council.

- Read more: Decision rollercoaster: 11 Mission St may go to Māori trust after all
- Read more: 'Unacceptable': Legal action threatened over omitted information in council's Mission St decision
- Read more: Council takes first step towards revoking decision to give 11 Mission St to Ōtamataha Trust

A vocal crowd of around 50 people - the majority supporting the trust - were in the chambers to hear today's decision.

Councillor Larry Baldock first moved to reaffirm the decision to give the land to the trust but it failed.

During the debate, Councillor Max Mason said he believed the reluctance from some to see the land go to the trust "goes to a mindset that is still rooted in colonialism".


"Colonialism is alive and well in Tauranga... People are not willing to give up the power that goes with colonialism."

Others argued the process had been incorrect and giving the land to the Elms would honour the intent the council had when it bought the land in 2006.

The failed vote prompted cries of "shame, shame" from people watching. One woman called out: "This is the most racist council in this country, this is disgusting I am disgusted in you."

Next, a vote to give the land to the Elms Foundation also failed, with only three votes in support: Greg Brownless, John Robson and Catherine Stewart.