The Mayor of Auckland and the Chair of the Maungakiekie-Tamaki Local Board have expressed their concern about elements of the Point England Development Enabling Bill.
The legislation passed by the House of Representatives last night (June 27, 2017),
allows for large-scale housing development on 11.7 hectares of the reserve in Tamaki, enabling local iwi Ngati Paoa to build 300 houses on the reserve land as part of its Treaty settlement.
Mayor Phil Goff and Board Chair Josephine Bartley accept that Parliament has a sovereign right to dispose of the land and are not opposed to a Treaty settlement with Ngati Paoa. However, they remain concerned about the use of special legislation to lift reserve status outside normal statutory processes.
According to Mr Goff, while the Council is supportive of action to accelerate house building in Auckland, this Bill raises a number of issues.
This legislation prescribes to Auckland Council what it must do with land vested in and administered by council under the Reserves Act 1977. This prescription circumvents the statutory powers of a local authority responsible for public reserve land under the Act. That the minister intends to micro-manage Aucklands future rather than give residents the opportunity to have their say sets a worrying precedent. Going forward, the minister needs to promise Auckland that he will consult council and Aucklanders on matters that affect their future, he said.
Ms Bartley said, Our community has been denied the right to shape its own future. There is nothing more that residents can do now. Sadly, this Bill may further endanger wildlife and reduce green space in Maungakiekie-Tmaki and Auckland.
Mr Goff said, Auckland Council will now engage with the government to ensure the loss of reserve land is properly managed and that decisions are made by locally elected representatives with public consultation.