Ihumātao housing development must be stopped

The Government and Auckland Council should revoke the controversial Special Housing Area (SHA) at Ihumātao in Māngere, in light of new archaeological evidence which highlights the site’s cultural significance, the Green Party said today.

The Government and Auckland Council should revoke the controversial Special Housing Area (SHA) at Ihumātao in Māngere, in light of new archaeological evidence which highlights the site’s cultural significance, the Green Party said today.

The new archaeological discovery at Ihumātao, identified by archaeologist Dave Veart, undermines a Fletcher’s report presented to Council in February 2016, which concluded that the only feature of archaeological interest worth protecting was the concrete farm house built in 1906.

“This discovery proves once and for all what we’ve been saying for some time now – building houses at Ihumātao is a bad idea,” said Green Party Māori Development spokesperson Marama Davidson.

“The discovery of shell midden and fire remains are significant finds that prove that the SHA land block itself is a culturally significant site with important heritage values, not the just Ōtuatua Stonefields and the pā site that run adjacent to the SHA.

“The midden discovered last week is different from the one named in the Fletcher’s report and is located in the middle of the SHA area, which suggests that there could be many more finds of significance.

“Mana whenua have occupied and used this land for centuries, and connection to the whenua is of fundamental significance to their whakapapa and identity.

“We cannot put all of that at risk by exposing the land to heavy construction and land works.

“The Government and Auckland Council cannot ignore this evidence. They should use this opportunity to respect mana whenua and the land by immediately revoking the SHA and opposing the re-zoning of the land while it’s before the Environment Court,” said Ms Davidson.

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