12 Jul 2019

Shelly Bay land sale: Legal action lodged against iwi

3:20 pm on 12 July 2019

A group of mana whenua in Wellington have taken legal action against its iwi's Trust, saying it sold land at Shelly Bay against their people's wishes.

Shelly Bay, Wellington

Mau Whenua opposes plans for a multi-million dollar residential development at Shelly bay in Wellington. Photo: Flickr user side78 / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The land is to be used for a proposed, controversial multi-million dollar residential development.

The Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust bought the land in 2009 for more than $13 million but sold most of it last year for $2m.

Mau Whenua, a group of iwi members opposed to the sale, was created after the Trust proposed selling in 2016.

Mau Whenua spokesperson, Hirini Jenkins-Mepham, said attempts to engage with the Trust have been ignored, and as a last resort they filed legal proceedings in the High Court this week.

The Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust has not responded to messages.

Wellington City Council have also reignited the debate around Shelly Bay, with another vote due to be held on whether to sell or lease council-owned land.

In 2017, the council voted in favour of selling and leasing their land to Shelly Bay Investments Limited, who own much of the remaining land around Shelly Bay.

RNZ reported on Wednesday that councillors were sent an email on Tuesday night, in which council chief executive Kevin Lavery confirmed that a second vote would take place.

It is unlikely the vote would happen before October's council elections.

Issues likely to be debated before the vote include the resource consent for the Shelly Bay development, ownership of the land, rising sea levels and pressure from increased traffic volumes on the road that stretches along the waterfront.

Mr Lavery will put together a full report into Shelly Bay, considering all the factors, before the council votes on it.

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