Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Court-ordered Report Finds Thousands Of Iwi Members Excluded From Shelly Bay Votes

Thousands of Taranaki Whānui members were deprived of their voting rights during crucial votes on the sale of Shelly Bay land, a court-ordered report has found. This raises further questions about the legitimacy of the 2017 and 2019 sale of iwi land to property developer Ian Cassels.

A group of Taranaki Whānui iwi members went to the Maori Land Court to complain about the conduct of the vote on the Shelly Bay land by the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust (PNBST). The court appointed an expert, Sir Wira Gardiner, to investigate the PNBST voting systems. A report now released by Sir Wira has confirmed that the PNBST register is in a “mess” (p. 43) and that thousands of iwi members have been disenfranchised as a result. Sir Wira’s report states that “the evidence shows that there is merit in [the applicants’] criticisms” (p.41) and “At the heart of this review is the right to vote” (p. 3).

Hirini Jenkins-Mepham, Chair of Mau Whenua Inc said today “This action started with a letter of protest to the then PNBST CEO, Jason Fox, on the 8th February 2016. Determination to restore the mana of those of our people who had been disenfranchised, drove Mau Whenua to achieve this outcome. We are pleased with the Maori Land Court decision but saddened that legal action was necessary.”

Mau Whenua and other members of Taranaki Whānui ki te Upoko o Te Ika had complained since the proposed sale of Shelly Bay was put to the vote in 2015 and 2016, that thousands of members had been ‘de-registered’ or their registrations lost by PNBST. Mau Whenua, representing members of Taranaki Whānui, tried for a number of years to negotiate with PNBST Trustees to rectify the register, voting and other areas in which the Trust has been operating in breach of its Trust Deed. Eventually, the Mau Whenua group together with individual iwi members took their grievances to the Maori Land Court in 2019, the Trust has appeared to make some moves towards remediation.

Mau Whenua commends the work done by Sir Wira and applauds his recommendations including a forward focus on fixing the voter register and returning to a functional system where iwi members are able to exercise their voting and other rights. Mau Whenua has welcomed and PNBST have also accepted a court recommendation that Sir Wira oversees the registration remediation process.

The voting mess is only part of the problems that members are having with the PNBST.

Mau Whenua also has a High Court case against PNBST Trustees and developer and owner of the Wellington Company, Mr Ian Cassels. The High Court action, due to be heard in March 2021, seeks the return of Shelly Bay land that the applicants say was illegally sold to Cassels in 2017 and 2019.

Sir Wira concluded his report saying “The broader political and commercial challenges that have beset the PNBST might not be resolved overnight” (p. 43). Mau Whenua says that return of the Shelly Bay land is a crucial part of this.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Compelling Case For Meatless Meat

Talk about living in a bubble. As vegetarianism and veganism become normalised – there are more options on restaurant menus! - it can be easy to think that the whole world is gradually giving up on meat. Alas, the reverse is true. Americans for instance consumed 100 kilograms of meat and poultry in 2018, up from 75 kilograms in 1960, according to the US Department of Agriculture figures... More>>


Pay Policy: CTU Public Service Unions Meet With Public Service Minister

The Council of Trade Unions and affiliated public service unions, met with the Minister for the Public Service Hon Chris Hipkins this afternoon to discuss the pay expectations of those working in our public services. CTU President Richard Wagstaff said it was ... More>>

Government: Further Action Against Gang Crime

The Government will make it illegal for high risk people to own firearms by introducing Firearms Prohibition Orders (FPOs) that will strengthen action already taken to combat the influence of gangs and organised crime to help keep New Zealanders and their ... More>>


Maori Party: Whakatōhea High Court Decision

“We applaud the Whakatōhea High Court case that has now set a precedent for Māori rights and interest in their foreshore and seabed. It’s an outstanding decision because the Court recognises all reclaimed lands with significant and boating traffic” ... More>>


PM: Statement On The Speaker And Annual Review Debate

“The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. ... More>>

Parliament: Mallard Fails To Give Taxpayers A Straight Answer

Trevor Mallard has confirmed he is unfit to be Parliament’s Speaker by failing to answer several important questions relating to the false rape accusation saga that cost taxpayers more than $330,000, Shadow Leader of the House Chris Bishop says. ... More>>

Local Government: Independent Review To Explore Future

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says an independent review of local government will explore how councils can maintain and improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders in the communities they serve long into the future. More>>


PM Ardern And PM Morrison: Commencement Of Two-Way Quarantine-Free Travel Between Australia And New Zealand

Joint Statement by Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern Commencement of two-way quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand Today, Australia and New Zealand have fulfilled their commitment to establish two-way quarantine free ... More>>




InfoPages News Channels