Sunday, September 6, 2015

Mike Butler: Nick Smith’s RFR cave-in

Housing Minister Nick Smith appears to have caved in to threats of legal action from Auckland tribe Ngati Whatua in a dispute over plans to develop Crown land in Auckland for housing.

Under an agreement announced on Thursday, Auckland tribes will have right of first refusal to develop houses on Crown land, with 40 per cent of construction to be social or affordable housing.

Surplus land earmarked for housing development will not be offered to tribes for purchase - the right of first refusal will relate to the first opportunity to be the developer.

The Government says it will likely still maintain ownership of the land until it is sold as completed houses, and it can put requirements around the pace and type of development.

Ngati Whatua sought legal advice back in June when it looked like the Housing Minister might cut them out of the process by using Section 136 of the tribe’s settlement legislation that says:
An RFR landowner may dispose of RFR land that is held for State housing purposes if the Minister of Housing has given notice to the Limited Partnership that, in the Minister's opinion, the disposal is to achieve, or to assist in achieving, the Crown's social objectives in relation to housing or services related to housing.
Such rights of first refusal have been included in treaty settlements for 20 years, starting as rights limited to specific properties and widening to a long-term RFR over 175 years to surplus property.

Ngati Whatua and Waikato-Tainui were expected to file papers with the court to clarify their right of first refusal on up to 500ha slated for development.

Dr Smith said that the new agreement recognised that a right of first refusal over development of Crown land for state housing purposes was part of the Tamaki Collective Deed of Settlement, signed in 2012 between the Crown and Nga Mana Whenua o Tamaki Makaurau.

For those who have not noticed, this is the basic strategy of claimant groups.

Step 1. Government announces a policy initiative. Step 2. Tribal entity announces a claim for involvement in that policy to attain a financial benefit. Step 3. Government cites existing rules that show tribe is not involved. Step 4. Tribe issues legal threat. Step 5. Government confers some benefit to the tribe.

A claim will always result in a benefit.

Iwi drop legal action over housing land,
Finlayson might join iwi in court,


Chris H said...

In the meantime Underpants Morgan ensures the Tainui gravy train keeps rolling thus ensuring his circa $500,000 p.a. payment as a treaty claims advisor.

Anonymous said...

What!! Here we go again, Greedy Maori tribes that have all been paid out for so called Treaty Grievances, and now want to rally around the gravy trough again for another hand out. When they signed the Treaty they also signed over Governance of the lands to the Queen and the Government of New Zealand. What the heck is Tainui got to do with Auckland anyway. I along with a lot of New Zealanders are totally against the way we are getting treated as second hand citizens by a band of greedy so called custodians of the land.They have made just about made everything extinct from the Huia, Moa, Wild pigeon, TuaTua to name but a few species and will continue to bleed the land in anyway they can.