Tauranga Deputy Mayor Kelvin Clout confessed that his council had exhibited ‘poor leadership’ over the returning of 11 Mission St to its rightful owners today.
Clout stated, "The process that we went through, the back and forth, it wasn't great”.
Ōtamataha Trust Spokesperson Peri Kohu made his agenda clear.
"We're in local body elections…this is an opportunity to change those who are making those decisions".
Last year the council agreed in principle that the land would be returned to the Ōtamataha Trust, but after 60% of public submissions were against that proposal, and claims of holes in the information presented to the council, the agreement was revoked.
During an interview with Te Ao, Clout said there were no winners in this situation. "I liken the decision to an All Blacks vs Springboks in the World Cup final, and if it ended up being 23 all, and that was the end of the game. Imagine how that would make everyone feel, no one would be happy, and I feel that this last compromise has left no one particularly happy, which is why I want this re-looked at after the election".
The Ōtamataha Trust hopes to work with the Elms Foundation, to bring a resolution to this issue.