Govt should revoke SHA on Ihumātao land

Minister for Building and Housing Nick Smith should listen to mana whenua and the community and revoke the Special Housing Area (SHA) designated on the Ihumātao land in Māngere, which is of rich cultural and historical significance, the Green Party said today.

Minister for Building and Housing Nick Smith should listen to mana whenua and the community and revoke the Special Housing Area (SHA) designated on the Ihumātao land in Māngere, which is of rich cultural and historical significance, the Green Party said today.

In passive resistance to construction on the land, the Save Our Unique Landscapes (SOUL) campaign has erected a tohu whenua (land marker) on the site, a symbol of the centuries-long presence of mana whenua on the land.

“I am proud to have supported mana whenua and the rangatahi-led SOUL campaign since it was launched, and will continue to stand in solidarity with the community in their ongoing fight,” Green Party Māori Development spokesperson Marama Davidson said.

“It’s unacceptable that this housing development is being built on land that was wrongfully confiscated from Māori in 1863, and which will run adjacent to wāhi tapu, the Ihumātao Pā, and the Ōtuataua Stonefields Historic Reserve.

“This development was only enabled by critical omissions in the 2013 Bill which established SHAs, meaning that the Government can push them through without proper consultation with mana whenua or the community.

“Last week the Government had an opportunity to fix this process when it pushed through the Housing Legislation Amendment Bill under urgency, but instead made no changes to uphold local democracy or ensure Māori rights are protected.

“I congratulate the SOUL campaign and their many supporters who have done a great job in keeping this issue on the agenda by ensuring that their concerns are heard by Auckland Council and MPs.

“Nick Smith has visited the Ihumātao site and is aware of its unique heritage values. It’s well past time that he revoked this SHA and changed the law to ensure robust negotiation with mana whenua is carried out in future.

“The ongoing opposition to this development is further evidence that the Government’s housing policies are failing to fix the Auckland housing crisis, and are actually creating new problems for Aucklanders to deal with,” said Ms Davidson.

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