Archive | Land use

Collins raises scare about “road tax” diversion, but government fund already $½ billion in red

Former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins, now the National Opposition’s transport spokesperson, raised a scare this week that the new government would divert National Land Transport Fund money from major road projects to rail.

2 things she neglected to mention:

1, while the fund’s income comes largely (but not entirely) from road users, it has always referred to its “land transport” programme rather than to “roads”.

2, it will be a long time before the fund has any money to spend on anything. Its annual reports for the last 2 years disclose that the fund’s liabilities exceeded its assets by $497 million at June 2016, rising to a $528 million deficit at June 2017.

It had budgeted for a $40 million surplus at June 2017.

The fund’s 3 biggest spends in the last financial year were on the accelerated Auckland transport programme ($236 million), public-private partnerships (for highway development, $557 million) & Tauranga’s eastern link toll road ($107 million).

The fund’s income is derived from “all revenue from fuel excise duty, road user charges, motor vehicle registration & licensing fees, revenues from Crown appropriations, management of Crown land interest, and tolling”.

The fund uses this income to manage the funding of the road policing programme, the national land transport programme & activities such as transport planning.

The fund’s last annual report says: “The National Land Transport Fund has a negative general funds balance due to the programmes that were accelerated and current funding was sourced from the Crown. The funding received has been recognised as long-term payables, which are not due until 2-27 years from balance date.

“The fund has the option to slow down expenditure on the national land transport programme, or utilise the short-term borrowing facility of $250 million if required to meet obligations as they fall due in the short term.”

Congestion issues

Auckland – a region where traffic grinds to a halt daily – has a serious, and growing, campaign to get more people to commute by rail, reducing road traffic, but it still has to work out how to handle freight much more efficiently.

The biggest proposal for improving freight movement, the East-West Link through Penrose & Onehunga, won consent from a board of inquiry in November, confirmed by its report & final decision on 21 December. But, by then, the incoming government had canned the project.

Collins on Labour’s “pet” obsession

Ms Collins said in a release on Monday the new government’s transport minister, Phil Twyford, “has confirmed the government is considering diverting taxes paid by motorists who want better roads to rail instead, while insisting to media this won’t happen.

“This is an important principle, adhered to by successive governments, ensuring the specific taxes paid by motorists are invested in newer, safer & better roads – helping keep New Zealanders connected & safe. Road users pay taxes which are directly returned to them.

“But this now appears under threat, because of the Labour Party’s obsession with light rail in Auckland. Mr Twyford has written to stakeholders saying a number of changes to the government policy statement (GPS) on land transport are being considered. Among the proposals is ‘exploring how rail investment is incorporated within the GPS & the National Land Transport Fund’.

“This is in spite of his office telling media last week that funding for road upgrades would not be redirected to rail.

“In his rush to erroneously claim that a number of roading projects aren’t under threat because of the Government’s obsession with Auckland rail, Mr Twyford has been saying different things to different people.

“This desperate grab for more taxes is the result of this free-spending government realising how much it’s going to cost to build its pet rail line from Auckland’s cbd to the airport – so it’s looking to divert funding from regional roads as a result.

“The National Land Transport Fund is paid for by road users to be invested in improving New Zealand’s roading network and it should remain that way. The Government needs to check its priorities and ensure the taxes paid by road users are invested back in the roads they are using.

“Last week, National launched a series of petitions aimed at saving those regional roads that the Government is looking to slash funding for. Given this duplicity from the Government, I want to again encourage everyone to sign the petitions to save our roads,” Ms Collins said.

Twyford signalled his intention

Mr Twyford wrote in a column for Contractor magazine last week: “To achieve our vision for transport, change is necessary. I am interested in how we can best use existing funding tools – like the National Land Transport Fund & the Government Policy Statement (GPS) – to support a more multi-modal approach.

“The traditional way in which we finance & fund infrastructure needs to change if we are going to address the multiple challenges of urban growth, replacing ageing assets, meeting higher environmental standards & improving resilience. We believe we need to be smarter about how we use the Government’s balance sheet.”

Mr Twyford wrote that the challenges of population & freight growth in the “golden triangle” of Auckland-Bay of Plenty-Waikato “will not be solved solely by investment in the roading network. All modes can be complementary to each other.

“For example, the Government is committed to implementing a rapid transit system for Auckland, which will include light rail from the cbd to the airport and to west Auckland. Such an investment will not only make it easier for people to get around town, but it will also free up our roading network to improve freight efficiency.”

The National petitions

National MPs began launching their petitions a fortnight ago.

Whangarei & Northland MPs Shane Reti & Matt King’s petition calls for the Auckland-Whangarei 4-lane “road of national significance” to proceed as the previous government planned it.

In Auckland’s eastern suburbs, MPs Jami-Lee Ross (Botany), Simeon Brown (Pakuranga) & Denise Lee (Maungakiekie) launched their petition to support the East-West Link.

They commented: “After a decade of planning & $50 million of investigative spending, you would expect that there was a clear direction on the project. This project has been through a fine-toothed procedural process like no other. It is supported by council, iwi, and has been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency’s board of inquiry.

“The current gridlock is a major barrier to commerce. This is making it difficult for people getting access to their basic daily goods. It is quite literally the bread & butter of transport projects.”

Links:
Contractor, 15 January 2018: Infrastructure & transport
National Party petitions: Save our regional highway projects

Attribution: National Party releases, Contractor.

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Auckland jump pushes home consents over 31,000/year, standalone share drops further

Consents for new homes jumped over the 31,000/year mark in November after being stuck in a 30,000/year band for most of the previous year.

Stats NZ said today the number of new homes consented in Auckland hit a 15-year high of 1450 in November, boosted by apartments. You can check the numbers around Auckland’s 13 wards below.

This rise in Auckland helped lift the national total of new homes consented to a 13-year high.

Consents for new homes & upgrades nationally for the year were worth $930 million more than for the previous 12 months.

Stats NZ construction statistics manager Melissa McKenzie said: “In November, Auckland home consents reached their second-highest level on record. This is beaten only by October 2002, when nearly 2000 new homes were consented due to a much larger spike in apartments.”

Nationally, 3262 new homes were consented in November (3005 in November 2016), including the highest number of townhouses, flats & units on record – 577 – and a 9-year high of 543 apartments.

“November is typically the month with the highest number of new homes consented, as people try to get plans approved before Christmas,” Ms McKenzie said.

“November’s rebound in home consents was driven by apartments, which tend to fluctuate a lot and were particularly low in October.
“Looking at the longer-term picture, building consents for apartments & townhouses have seen double-digit growth year after year, while consents for standalone houses have levelled off.”

Standalone homes’ share of total consents for the year fell from 70.4% in November 2016 to 68%.

The national consent numbers for November & the year to November (previous November & year in brackets):
Total consents for new homes: 3262 (3005), 31,123 (30,399)
Total values for new homes:  $1.118 billion ($1.001 billion), $13.49 billion ($12.561 billion)
Standalone homes: 1870 (1886), 21,178 (21,391)
Apartments: 543 (407), 3137 (2692)
Retirement village units: 272 (205), 1969 (1918)
Suburban townhouses & flats: 577 (507), 4839 (4398)

Auckland residential consents for November, compared to November 2016, and the latest 12 months compared to the previous 12 months:
Region: 1450 (1188), 10,731 (10,137)
Rodney: 89 (55), 1056 (909)
Albany: 255 (286), 2466 (2274)
North Shore: 25 (26), 484 (566)
Waitakere: 66 (84), 537 (664)
Waitemata & Gulf: 388 (155), 1365 (1125)
Whau: 34 (19), 312 (307)
Albert-Eden-Roskill: 36 (104), 703 (699)
Orakei: 67 (42), 261 (297)
Maungakiekie-Tamaki: 138 (21), 746 (306)
Howick: 127 (25), 594 (546)
Manukau: 90 (129), 451 (465)
Manurewa-Papakura: 88 (116), 952 (1062)
Franklin: 47 (126), 804 (917)

All construction for November compared to November 2016, and the latest 12 months compared to the previous 12 months:
Total: $1.881 billion ($1.607 billion), up 17.1%; $20.498 billion ($19.029 billion), up 7.7%
Non-residential: $549 million ($411 million), up 33.6%; $6.609 billion ($5.98 billion), up 10.5%.

Attribution: Stats NZ tables & release.

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KGL unveils plans for Hamilton East refurb

KGL Property unveiled plans this week for a $6 million refurbishment of the 1970s-built 1

Clyde St in Hamilton East, to start in mid-2018.

In an innovation by the founders of outdoor gear retailer Torpedo7 Ltd, Luke Howard-Willis & his father Guy, the renovations on Clyde St will create what they think will be the largest modern, shared office space in Hamilton.

The Howard-Willises sold a majority stake in Torpedo7 to The Warehouse Ltd in 2013, and exited completely early last year. 2 months later they bought 1 Clyde St from Hill Laboratories Ltd, which moved to new headquarters in the former NZ Post building on Duke St, Frankton – also owned by the Howard-Willises’ KGL Property.

KGL Property entered a joint venture early this year with Foster Construction Ltd and the partners will work together on the Clyde St refurbishment project.

Foster’s commercial manager, Leonard Gardner, said:  “The building’s main structure will stay as is, but we’ll strip it right down to the concrete and reclad it with modern construction materials. In addition to a new modern look inside, we’ll also install new mechanical & electrical kit through the building. The internal & external facelift will also keep in character with Hamilton East’s unique community & the surrounding buildings.”

KGL commercial property manager Ray George said: “Hamilton East has been revitalised over the past few years, making it the perfect location to host a shared office space.

“The neighbouring Deloitte building opened in 2009, Ebbett Prestige’s Volkswagen & Audi dealership opened opposite in 2015 and the Mavis & Co Café integrates into the precinct’s design. The location gives access to the Waikato River as well as to local amenity such as parks, river walks, cafes & gyms.

“A shared office environment is a great option for businesses as it allows them to expand quickly without the large capital costs of setting up an office with associated infrastructure. The interaction within the common open plan environment also facilitates cross-pollination of ideas.”

The 3-storey building, with 2700m² of floor area, will be able to accommodate 200-

225 staff on site. One of the floors will be the shared space, and the other 2 will be leased to corporate tenants.

Attribution: Company release.

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Construction rising but more slowly

The rise in building work put in place dipped again in the year to September, as it did in 2015.

It still rose – by 10.4% for all buildings, 13% for residential – but those increases were down from a total 17.3% increase for all construction in 2016 and a 20.2% increase in 2014, and from 19.3% for residential in 2016, 26.2% in 2014.

In current dollar terms, residential work in the 12 months to September was worth $13.6 billion ($12 billion the previous 12 months). Total work was worth $20.93 billion ($18.95 billion in the previous 12 months).

Statistics NZ said the volume trend for all building work was 0.6% below the series peak reached in the September 2016 quarter. (This series began in the December 1989 quarter, so doesn’t include the mid-1970s residential building boom seen in building consent statistics).

For the September quarter, the value of residential work rose 9.7% from a year ago to $3.6 billion ($3.29 billion), and the total rose 6.4% to $5.5 billion ($5.18 billion).

Methodology to change

Statistics NZ said it would raise the value threshold used to determine which building project activity is modelled from consent data, and which activity is surveyed in the quarterly building activity survey, in the December quarter. “This change will reflect recent inflation in construction industry costs. This will not affect any activity already being surveyed, only the data source for new projects being monitored, and will therefore not cause any revisions to historic value of building work put in place statistics.”

Statistics NZ will publish more information about these changes at its next release on the value of building work put in place, for the December quarter, to be published on 7 March.

Attribution: Statistics NZ tables & release.

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Victorian taskforce detects cladding blindspot, but 8 hospitals are being reclad

A cladding taskforce the Victoria government established in July has found extensive compliance issues. And, as products became more prevalent & visible, “a general complacency or blind spot occurred as to the risks”.

Outside the taskforce’s report, state planning minister Richard Wynne said in a release that cladding had to be replaced at 8 hospitals and another 12 hospitals remained “under assessment”.

The state government established the taskforce to investigate the extent of non-compliant external wall cladding on buildings statewide, and make recommendations for improvements to protect the public and restore confidence that building & fire safety issues are being addressed appropriately.

The fire that ripped up the Grenfell apartment tower in London in June, moving vertically via the external cladding, resulted in a confirmed 71 deaths. 350 people were evacuated from the building.

But the alarm bells were raised in Melbourne’s Docklands 3 years ago, when the same thing happened in the Lacrosse apartment building – that time without any deaths.

The Victorian taskforce has found systems failures had led to major safety risks & widespread non-compliant use of combustible cladding.

An audit by the Victorian Building Authority after the Lacrosse fire confirmed the extent of non-compliance.

The taskforce said in its interim report, out last Friday: “We found the failings identified by the Victorian Building Authority in 2015 were not merely administrative, or paper-based, but were significant public safety issues, which are symptomatic of broader non-compliance across a range of areas within the industry.

“The problem of widespread non-compliant cladding can be attributed to 3 factors: the supply & marketing of inappropriate building materials, a poor culture of compliance in the industry, and the failure of the regulatory system to deal with these issues.”

The taskforce tapped into the expertise of industry professionals & organisations through a stakeholder reference group, and summarised their submissions:

  • inadequate compliance & enforcement and low risk of consequences to deter breaches of the law
  • competitive commercial pressures which incentivise the taking of shortcuts
  • over-reliance on the building surveyor role as an assurance mechanism
  • inadequate onsite inspection, supervision & quality assurance
  • inaccurate & potentially misleading labelling &/or marketing of products
  • complexity, ambiguities & poor understanding of the application of the national construction code and how to comply with it
  • variations in regulations & codes and their inconsistent interpretation over time regarding combustibility tests & use of panels
  • a widely held view that combustibility standards in the national construction code are too onerous and stifle new product innovation
  • substitution of non-compliant products between the approval & construction phases
  • incorrect, inadequate or misleading documentation, including product certificates
  • poor quality workmanship, or inexperienced professionals, highlighting a general need to increase skills & capabilities among building practitioners, and
  • poor understanding of performance-based solutions, evidentiary requirements & inadequate oversight.

The taskforce said aluminium composite panels with a polyethylene core were of particular concern: “This type of cladding has been implicated at Grenfell & Lacrosse and is combustible. Rendered expanded polystyrene cladding is also of concern.”

Australia’s national construction code requires that external walls of buildings, 3 storeys & above, must be non-combustible. This includes cladding affixed to or forming part of an external wall.

The taskforce identified up to 1400 buildings as most likely having aluminium composite panels with a polyethylene core or expanded polystyrene.

The state government said no building had required an evacuation order, “provided certain safety measures are met while rectification works are carried out, such as alarms, sprinklers or evacuation procedures”.

But the government directed its building authority to inspect more worksites & buildings, including a statewide audit of residential buildings likely to have combustible cladding.

And the state’s health & human services department said an audit of 1100 buildings had identified 8 hospitals where non-compliant cladding must be replaced. Another 12 hospitals remained “under assessment”.

Links:
1 December 2017: Victorian cladding taskforce, interim report
Lacrosse Tower fire, Melbourne Docklands 2014, city surveyor’s report

Attribution: Taskforce & ministerial releases.

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Sharp drop in apartment consents, standalones & total static

Statistics NZ highlighted a sharp drop in apartment consents yesterday when it issued building consent figures for October, but that’s only a small part of the total market, and a volatile one at that.

Most significantly in a comparison with October last year, consents for standalone homes were static and the total for the October year was also static – still in the range of 30-31,000.

Consents for standalone homes & retirement village units were down slightly for the year, apartments & suburban units were up by about 500 each.

The national consent numbers for October and the year to October, compared to October last year, and the latest 12 months compared to the previous 12 months:

Total consents for new homes: 2549 (2575), down 1% ; 30,866 (30,225), up 2.1%
Total values for new homes:  $1.23 billion ($1.14 billion), up 7.7%; $13.36 billion ($12.46 billion), up 7.2%
Standalone homes: 1806 (1802), up 0.2%; 21,194 (21,369), down 0.8%
Apartments: 78 (229), down 65.9%; 3001 (2555), up 26.4%
Retirement village units: 220 (174), up 26.4%; 1902 (2034), down 6.5%
Suburban townhouses & flats: 445 (370), up 20.3%; 4769 (4267), up 11.8%

All construction for October compared to October last year, and the latest 12 months compared to the previous 12 months:
Total: $1.86 billion ($1.74 billion), up 6.6%; $20.2 billion ($19.05 billion), up 6.2%
Non-residential: $584 million ($526 million), up 11.2%; $6.47 billion ($6.1 billion), up 6.1%.

Attribution: Statistics NZ tables & release.

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Auckland Plan refresh approved for consultation, 2 private plan changes to be notified

Auckland Council’s planning committee approved the revised draft Auckland Plan for formal public consultation yesterday.

A joint consultation on this plan and on the council’s 10-year budget, 2018-28, will open on 28 February and run until 28 March. The council’s governing body will approve the consultation document on 7 February.

The Auckland Plan, first adopted in 2012 and now reviewed for the second time, is the spatial plan that sets the direction for how, where & when Auckland will grow over the next 30 years.

Other planning committee business

Manurewa Takanini Papakura integrated area plan:

The committee endorsed the Manurewa Takanini Papakura Integrated Area Plan, which provides a planning framework to guide how the area develops over the next 30 years.

2 private plan change requests under new unitary plan

Otahuhu, King’s College, Mangere & Hospital Rds:

The committee agreed to publicly notify King’s College’s private plan change request to rezone 2 land parcels, one to the north-east of the main campus and the other to the south.

The private plan change will rezone land adjoining Mangere Rd from special purpose – school to terrace housing & apartment buildings, and land adjacent to Hospital Rd from terrace housing & apartment buildings and single house zones to special purpose – school.

Ellerslie, 614-616 Great South Rd, Goodman Property Trust:

The committee agreed to publicly notify Goodman Property Trust’s private plan change request to rezone 614-616 Great South Rd from business park to mixed use.

Link: Planning committee agenda 28 November

Attribution: Council releases.

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Supreme Court rejects appeal by James Hardie against class action

The Supreme Court ruled yesterday against house cladding manufacturer James Hardie NZ’s attempt to stop a group of owners of leaky homes from having their claims heard as a class action.

Others who haven’t yet joined the group have been given until 30 January 2018 to do so.

High Court judge Rebecca Ellis ruled in 2016 that the group of owners of homes clad with James Hardie products Harditex & Titan board could take a class action against James Hardie & group company Studorp Ltd.

The Court of Appeal also ruled in favour of a class action in August this year.

Justice Ellis found 3 common issues which warranted making a representative order:

  • whether James Hardie owed the owners a duty of care in tort
  • whether James Hardie had breached that duty, and
  • whether the statements made in James Hardie’s technical literature were misleading & deceptive for the purposes of the Fair Trading Act.

The Court of Appeal upheld those findings, saying on the issue of duty of care, the considerations would be “materially the same or similar” for all claims.

The Court of Appeal found that, when the substantive case is eventually heard, “determination of the 3 common issues will result in findings that are binding on James Hardie & all members of the class. Determination of other aspects of the claims such as causation & loss will be determined on an individual owner basis.”

The Court of Appeal also concluded that a class action would “better achieve the just, speedy & inexpensive determination of the proceedings than the test case procedure” for which James Hardie contended.

Wellington law firm Parker & Associates, representing the building owners, is now encouraging affected owners still outside the group to move quickly. Lawyer Dan Parker said: “We are dealing with a large number of inquiries, many from people who have seen and are responding to the claim for the first time. A number of owners have approached us, unaware of any problems with their properties until expert investigations identify issues. They have subsequently joined the claim.

“We will be pushing forward now to deal with owner inquiries and to get as many owners signed on as possible. As it is a self-funded action, the bigger the group is, the lower the costs/owner.

“The opt-in period will be the last chance for most affected owners to pursue any legal action for recovery of their losses. If they join during the opt-in period they will not be affected by a 15-year limitation longstop that will probably otherwise bar claims after the opt-in period expires. Also, the Supreme Court confirmed last year in the leaky schools litigation that the 10-year Building Act limitation longstop does not apply to a product liability claim like this.”

The group first took a product liability claim against James Hardie & Studorp for negligence & breach of the Fair Trading Act in 2015.

Owners alleged that leaks in their homes were attributable to inherent defects in James Hardie cladding systems, and that the company made misleading statements about its cladding systems in its technical literature. James Hardie denies the allegations.

Harditex was used in construction of thousands of homes from 1987 until the early 2000s, and Titan board was widely used from 1995.

Attribution: Supreme Court decision, Parker release.

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Panuku buys site to support Unlock Avondale project

Auckland Council regeneration agency Panuku Development Auckland has bought a property on the corner of Great North Rd & Racecourse Parade to support the unlock project for Avondale’s town centre. The site had stood vacant for 15 years.

Whau Local Board chair Tracy Mulholland said securing the site unlocked significant opportunities for the upgrade of the town centre: “The site will be incorporated into the plan to enliven the town centre which will introduce new open spaces, the development of a community facility and implementation of a retail strategy that will attract new businesses.”

Panuku chief operating officer David Rankin said the site had been identified for mixed use development, but Panuku would work with the local board & the community to explore interim uses that could include ‘pop-up’ retail & community activities.

Link:
Panuku Avondale

Earlier stories:
8 November 2017: Unlock Avondale project gets go-ahead, Takapuna carpark decision deferred
24 May 2017: Council supports regeneration actions

Attribution: Panuku release.

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Ngati Whatua wants East-West Link consents buried

Auckland iwi Ngati Whatua Orakei raised its concern on Friday that the East-West Link through Penrose & Onehunga could go ahead one day, even though the current government has cancelled it.

The $1.85 billion link was intended to run between State Highway 1 at Mt Wellington & State Highway 20 at Onehunga.

The board of inquiry which heard the NZ Transport Agency’s application for it released its draft report & decision on 14 November – by which time new prime minister Jacinda Ardern & Auckland mayor Phil Goff had confirmed it would be cancelled in its present form. The board confirmed 2 notices of requirement and granted resource consents, subject to conditions.

Ngati Whatua Orakei Trust spokesperson Ngarimu Blair said: “While the iwi welcomes the stated aim of the new government to scrap the project, this does not provide a sufficient degree of certainty and Transport Minister Phil Twyford needs to formally honour the Government’s commitment to cancel the project completely.

“The notices of requirement & resource consents have a 15-year period for implementation, and will therefore outlast the current term of government. We want to ensure the East-West Link as proposed never goes ahead, no matter who is in government at the time.

“We have written to Minister Twyford asking that the Government direct the NZ Transport Agency to formally withdraw the notices of requirement and surrender the consents.

“This would avoid the danger of the current government’s intentions being undermined. We note in this regard that the NZ Transport Agency are currently proceeding with moves to implement the project as if nothing had changed post-general election.”

Mr Blair said Ngati Whatua Orakei, Te Kawerau a Maki & Makaurau Marae, along with other community & conservation groups such as The Onehunga Enhancement Society (TOES) and the Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society, went to great expense & effort to stop the motorway during a gruelling 3-month hearing before the Environmental Protection Authority board of inquiry.

Royal Forest & Bird environmental lawyer Sally Gepp said the society was concerned that the decision to grant the consents & designations meant key policies in the brand-new Auckland unitary plan “have been treated as little more than words on a page.

“Forest & Bird played an integral role in ensuring that the unitary plan provides for nature as well as people. We went to the High Court to change the unitary plan – and won – and as a result Auckland’s remaining biodiversity hotspots are protected in the plan. This decision has rendered those protections meaningless.”

Onehunga Enhancement Society chair Jim Jackson commented: “There is no way to now ‘redesign’ the Onehunga/Neilson St interchange end of the East-West Link within the designations & consents supported by the board of inquiry. Those designations & consents have to be scrapped.”

Mr Blair said Ngati Whatua o Orakei opposed the link designed for freight traffic for its “enduring & significant” adverse environmental & cultural effects.

“We look forward to having real input into the Auckland transport alignment project review and will contribute proactively on future sensible options for the Mangere Inlet & Onehunga area. There must be true collaboration amongst all the parties and not a short-sighted singular focus on road building as we’ve seen in recent years,” he said.

Historic Ngati Whatua links

Mr Blair said Ngati Whatua Orakei had a deep & ongoing connection to Te To Waka, Te Papapa, the Mangere Inlet & Onehunga area: “Its direct association with Onehunga dates back to the mid-17th century, while links through marriage connect the iwi to the entire length of the Maori occupation of the area.

“Ngati Whatua resided at Mangere & Onehunga in autumn & winter and, soon after Matariki, would plant & till the extensive gardens in the area. The Rev Samuel Marsden & John Logan Campbell both visited Ngati Whatua at Onehunga and, after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, Ngati Whatua Orakei with Waikato iwi were major players in the economy based around the trading port at Onehunga. The iwi moved its main base to Orakei in the mid-19th century.

“Onehunga land was ‘acquired’ from Ngati Whatua Orakei during the period of the Fitzroy waivers (1844-45), when settlers could purchase land directly from Maori vendors, itself a breach of the Treaty of Waitangi. When these transactions were later examined by land commissioners appointed by Governor Grey, the sale of only 8 acres was upheld. Of the remainder, 723a became Crown land and a further 575a were kept by the Crown as defence land – none was made available to the original owners, despite a requirement 10% of land sold was to be kept aside for the benefit of its ‘former’ Maori owners. This historic grievance was settled with Ngati Whatua Orakei in 2012.”

Links:
EPA, East-West link
About the east-west link
Draft report & decision

Attribution: Ngati Whatua release.

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