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Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Buys Kupe Street Land From Housing NZ

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Buys Kupe Street Land From Housing New Zealand

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei has signed a deal with Housing New Zealand to buy land in Kupe Street close to the Orakei marae.

The agreement will see five tranches of land along the ridge sold to Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei between now and 2021. The first block of 0.6746 hectares, situated on the corner of Hawaiki and Kupe Streets, was bought at market rates for $16.5million.

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei spokesperson Ngarimu Blair, who sits on the board of the iwi’s commercial arm Whai Rawa, says:

“This is a real breakthrough for Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei. As original occupants of Tāmaki Makaurau, this land is hugely important to us. We have worked collaboratively with Housing New Zealand to reach a commercial agreement that gives us access to their land on the Kupe Street 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 Ōrākei 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, and future generations,” says Blair.

This land deal is a significant commercial purchase, and it gives Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei the ability to influence and enhance the surroundings and access points to its papakāinga landholdings and the Whenua Rangatira. The hapū is developing a long-term development plan for all of its Orakei landholdings of which the Kupe Street ridge lands will be included. While the hapū has no immediate plans to re-develop 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 Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei whānau. The hapū already owns much of the land around the marae which is the land that can be developed specifically for whānau 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 and develop innovative initiatives for whānau and whānau housing opportunities on the papakāinga,” says Blair.

Housing New Zealand General Manager Asset Development Patrick Dougherty says “We are very pleased to have concluded this agreement, which is mutually beneficial for both parties. Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei 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 New Zealand has a specialist tenant liaison team whose role it is to support tenants through the process of re-housing. 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 and dry houses in which our tenants can live. People can keep up with our Auckland developments here: https://www.hnzc.co.nz/housing-developments-and-programmes/auckland-housing-programme/.”

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,” says Dougherty.

-ENDS-

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