Wellington hapū place rāhui on land to halt development plans

A Wellington hapū has placed a rāhui on their land in Wainuiomata after alleging their plots are being targeted for sale by iwi land managers, Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust.

The trust is planning to use iwi redress land, what was the former grounds for Old Wainuiomata Intermediate and Wainuiomata College, for development.

But Anania Randall of Waiwhetu says development plans need to stop.

Randall tells Te Kāea, "There's some components to the Port Nicholson block proposed development that we're not happy about.

“One of those is our land being sold, us taking up those properties back at a market price when we own the land and the third thing we've been told is if we don't take up those properties they'll be put up on the market."

Randall says hapū were informed by the trust last week, who then offered to sell dwellings back for a market value price of $450k.

In 2014 hapū were granted $2mil in Crown funds to develop their own Papa Kainga, however those plans were shut down.

"We would like a medical centre there and a place for emergency housing,  We'd like a place to care for our kaumātua as well and also a little whare.  So there's a whole different range of things we'd like to do on the land not just housing," says Randall.

The land in dispute is the last remnant of hapū land according to Randall, who says it should not be sold on the public market.

"They shouldn't be offering those properties out to the open market at all and chopping it up into fee simple general titles is wrong too because it means we'll lose those properties."

Hapū have now placed a rāhui on the land.

They have approached Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Crown Māori Relations Minister Kelvin Davis for help.

Te Kāea put in a request for comment from Port Nicholson, however, Chairman Wayne Mulligan declined to comment.