Tag Archives | Ngati Whatua

Ngati Whatua buys back first of 5 Kupe St tranches from Housing NZ

Ngati Whatua Orakei has signed a deal with Housing NZ Ltd to buy land in Kupe St near the Orakei marae.

The agreement will see Ngati Whatua Orakei buy 5 tranches of land along the ridge between now & 2021. The iwi organisation has bought the first block of 6746m², on the corner of Hawaiki & Kupe Sts, at market rates for $16.5 million.

Ngati Whatua Orakei spokesperson Ngarimu Blair, who sits on the board of the iwi’s commercial arm, Whai Rawa, said in a release last Thursday: “This is a real breakthrough for Ngati Whatua Orakei. As original occupants of Tamaki Makaurau, this land is hugely important to us. We have worked collaboratively with Housing NZ to reach a commercial agreement that gives us access to their land on the Kupe St ridge. Agreements like this one allow us to slowly build our base to what it once was – and that is exciting.

“This land is part of the original 700-acre Orakei block. After almost 120 years in Crown hands, we have managed to buy this land back. This type of transaction comes with responsibilities to our people & future generations.”

Mr Blair said the significant commercial purchase would give Ngati Whatua Orakei the ability to influence & enhance the surroundings & access points to its papakainga landholdings & the whenua rangatira.

He said the hapu was developing a long-term development plan for all of its Orakei landholdings, including the Kupe St ridge lands: “While the hapu has no immediate plans to redevelop the sites, they will carefully consider all of its options to ensure that any decisions made will be the best for reinvesting back in to Ngati Whatua Orakei whanau. The hapu already owns much of the land around the marae, which is the land that can be developed specifically for whanau housing initiatives.

“Whatever we decide to do with these sites should allow us to maximise the land value, which in turn will be used to build on & develop innovative initiatives for whanau & whanau housing opportunities on the papakainga.”

Housing NZ asset development general manager Patrick Dougherty said: “We are very pleased to have concluded this agreement, which is mutually beneficial for both parties. Ngati Whatua Orakei are the respected custodians of this area. It is very much their home patch and we are delighted to be selling this land to them.

“We have 55 tenancies left in Kupe St. They have been advised of the agreement and are aware of the potential sale in future stages. Housing NZ has a specialist tenant liaison team whose role it is to support tenants through the process of rehousing. We will work with the families to find them suitable alternative homes and will cover all reasonable costs related to this move.

“We will be investing proceeds from the sale into development projects across Auckland to deliver modern, warm & dry houses in which our tenants can live.

“The second tranche of property will be exchanged mid-2018 at a price yet to be negotiated. “The values will vary as we progress through to 2021, depending on factors such as the size of the sites and the market conditions at the time.”

Link: Housing NZ Auckland developments & programme

Attribution: Joint 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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Blessing gets $1 billion of the new Wynyard under way

Blessings of construction sites run counter to the dominant forces in a secular society, and the blessing of reclaimed land even more so, you might think.

But in Maoridom the connections with the past, and with place, are important. And so, at dawn this morning, Ngati Whatua o Orakei cultural leaders performed a task which, for modern Auckland, may have more significance than most would suppose.

There were no earthworks on the Wynyard Central site this morning, but there was that connection to the past & the place. Taiaha Hawke, cultural advisor to the Ngati Whatua Orakei Trust, told the small gathering of project executives & council people: “Though it’s reclaimed, we still need to acknowledge the spirits from before you came here.

“Part of your role this morning is to keep us grounded, if you like. It’s also about your aspirations for the site. We know it’s not all about money. You have a greater purpose than making money – growing of the city, leaving your mark on the city after we’re all gone.”

Willis Bond & Co Ltd will develop part of the land for apartments and some retail & hospitality outlets, Precinct Properties NZ Ltd will develop its Innovation Precinct, and Fu Wah International Group will develop a hotel, all with council leasehold factored into long-term pricing.

John Dalzell, interim chief executive of the new council-owned Panuku Development Auckland said Precinct would start work in a fortnight and the transformation would be well under way by Christmas.

He spoke of partnerships with iwi and with development partners: “Partnerships put us in a place we couldn’t have achieved by ourselves.”

Precinct will develop 48,000m² of space in 5 office buildings, which will provide work for over 3000 people, starting with development inside the former Southern Spars mast-stepping warehouse.

Matt Maihi.

Matt Maihi.

Orakei marae manager Matt Maihi was an oil company truck driver then warehouseman in the 1970s and recounted some of the precinct’s history as he experienced it: “In the mid-70s there were rumours the oil tanks were going to go [from what is now the Wynyard Quarter]. We said no, the oil industry will never go away. They drilled a pipeline from Whangarei to Wiri. We said that will never happen. …. Changes were made to break up the unions and now you have contract drivers. We said that will never happen.

“Tomorrow there’s always a change, and from my point of view it’s been for the benefit of many of us.”

On the council-owned Wynyard Quarter sites, that change will amount to about $1 billion of development about to start. The sites spread across a block bordered by Beaumont, Pakenham St West, Halsey & Madden Sts.

Willis Bond has presold over half the first tranche of its apartments and works are expected to start next month on 113 homes on the site bordered by Daldy & Pakenham St West, and in November on 51 apartments at 132 Halsey St.

Deputy mayor Penny Hulse said the day marked the changing waterfront landscape & a strategic use of publicly owned land assets: “It’s important we take the time to mark the passing of the land from its former industrial use to the location for a new residential & working community as it also recognises the significance of the historical links of the waterfront to mana whenua in Tamaki Makaurau.

“Leveraging the use of these important council landholdings is important as it delivers significant financial returns and optimises the use of this prime waterfront land in a way that will offer long-term economic benefits for the city centre & the region.”

Interim Chief Executive of Panuku Development Auckland John Dalzell says after opening up the western edge of Auckland’s waterfront in 2011, with more public spaces, restaurants and bars, the central precinct of Wynyard Quarter will be an important next step.

“What we’re talking about here is setting an exemplar for medium-density development for the region. Building designs will inspire and new behaviours will be encouraged through approaches to recycling, energy & water conservation & generation, walking & cycling amenities, carparking & transport.

“It won’t just be tenants or homeowners who are set to benefit from the development either as – with 11,000 m² of new laneways & open spaces, including nearly 1300m² of retail space – visitors to the Wynyard Quarter will be able to experience a whole new part of the city.”

Image at top: Taiaha Hawke leads this morning’s blessing.

Link: Animation capturing construction stages over the next 5 years

Earlier stories:
9 September 2015: Waterfront Park Hyatt gets consent
18 May 2015: Auckland’s waterfront – aiming to be the international exemplar
6 July 2014: Aiming up while others aim low: McGuinness style will lift Wynyard precinct

Attribution: Blessing, Panuku Development release.

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Ngati Whatua buys Aecom House from Russells

The Russell family, owner of Dominion Constructors Ltd, has sold Aecom House at Quay Park toNgati Whatua Orakei Whai Rawa Ltd at an undisclosed price but at a yield of about 8%.

Ngati Whatua owns all the land at Quay Park, but this is the first building whose leasehold interest it has acquired.

The Russells’ Harbour 5 Ltd completed a complicated ground rent negotiation early this year, which I understand resulted in fixed rises annually over a decade, unlike most ground leases, which are fixed until renewal.

The transaction also includes 50 parking spaces under the adjoining Quba apartment building, which is on the same building base. Access to the Aecom parking is through the Quba building.

Ngati Whatua director Ngarimu Blair said: “This asset is our first step towards diversifying Ngati Whatua Orakei’s commercial property portfolio away from either residential landholdings or ground lessor’s interests, and will provide a positive cashflow impact for our balance sheet.”

The transaction was assisted by agents from CBRE (Brent McGregor & Jonathan Ogg) & Colliers International (national director of corporate & institutional sales Peter Herdson and Andrew Reed).

Harbour 5 bought the land in 2008 and developed the 8-level, 5 green star-rated, 12,992m² building fronting Beach Rd & Mahuhu Crescent in 2011 (completed in 2013), with the intention of holding the asset long-term. However, the family changed its mind when Ngati Whatua offered a negotiated sale.

Harbour 5 director Brett Russell said the family retained other holdings in the precinct and saw this transaction as a further positive step in its strong relationship with Ngati Whatua.”

Global consulting firm Aecom occupies over 5000m², and the building generates total net passing income of about $5.4 million/year. It has a weighted average lease term of 6 years.

Attribution: Agency release.

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Propbd on Q M18Aug14 – Ngati Whatua buys Aecom House

Russells sell Aecom House to Ngati Whatua

The Russell family, owners of Dominion Constructors Ltd, has sold Aecom House at Quay Park toNgati Whatua Orakei Whai Rawa Ltd at an undisclosed price but at a yield of about 8%.

Ngati Whatua owns all the land at Quay Park, but this is the first building whose leasehold interest it has acquired.

The Russells’ Harbour 5 Ltd completed a complicated ground rent negotiation early this year, which I understand resulted in fixed rises annually over a decade, unlike most ground leases, which are fixed until renewal.

The transaction also includes 50 parking spaces under the adjoining Quba apartment building, which is on the same building base. Access to the Aecom parking is through the Quba building.

Ngati Whatua director Ngarimu Blair said: “This asset is our first step towards diversifying Ngati Whatua Orakei’s commercial property portfolio away from either residential landholdings or ground lessors’ interests, and will provide a positive cashflow impact for our balance sheet.”

The transaction was assisted by agents from CBRE & Colliers International.

Attribution: Agency release.

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