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Legal move to return Shelly Bay to Iwi ownership


Legal proceedings were filed in the Wellington High Court this week to have certain blocks of land at Shelly Bay returned to the ownership of Taranaki Whānui iwi. The land in issue is currently the proposed site for a high density residential development.

The proceedings were commenced by Mau Whenua Incorporated Society – a Society that grew out of Taranaki Whānui iwi members battle to ensure that their land is not sold out of iwi ownership without appropriate consultation with, and agreement of, iwi members.

Prior to July 2017, the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust owned the land in trust on behalf of the members of Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Tte Ika. Mau Whenua says that the Shelly Bay land was sold by the Trust to a property developer, Shelly Bay Investments Limited, in July 2017, without the knowledge of many of its members. Shelly Bay Investment Limited is a property development company. Its director is Ian Cassels.

Mau Whenua says the Trust’s Trust Deed required such a sale to be approved by 75% of voting members of the Taranaki Whānui iwi. However, prior to the sale, iwi members had twice voted against the sale taking place.

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