3 Sep 2015

Govt and iwi resolve stand-off over Crown land

8:08 pm on 3 September 2015

The Government and Auckland iwi have resolved their stand-off over developing surplus Crown land for housing.

Housing and Building Minister Nick Smith at Crown land at Manukau in Auckland that has been identified for housing.

Housing and Building Minister Nick Smith at Crown land identified for housing at Manukau in Auckland in May 2015. Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

The agreement gives 13 iwi the first right to develop housing on the land.

One of the iwi, Ngati Whatua, filed legal action in June, after the Government unveiled the first sites it would offer for development but said iwi had no right of first refusal.

As part of the agreement, 20 percent of homes in any development would be made available to the community housing sector, and a further 20 percent would be affordable, likely to cost less than $550,000.

Minister for Building and Housing Nick Smith said he hoped the first development agreements would be signed this year, and the first houses finished by the end of next year.

Ngati Whatua has welcomed the agreement and its deputy chair, Ngarimu Blair, said it had withdrawn its High Court action.

The Government announced in May that it would assess up to 500 hectares of surplus Crown land in Auckland for suitability for development.

One of the first four sites unveiled by the minister was education land on Moire Road, Massey, in west Auckland, which Dr Smith had said did not need to be offered to iwi - prompting the court action.

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