Parallels Between Ihumatao And Omarukaikuru/Shelly Bay
There are significant parallels between Ihumatao (in Auckland) and Omarukaikuru/Shelly Bay (in Wellington). The controversial Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas (HAASHA) legislation has played a significant role in triggering conflicts, legal action and direct action in both places. This has led to divisions involving multiple parties, including local Councils, developers, iwi groups, local communities and environmentalists.
The HAASHA legislation passed by the previous National Government allows for intensive housing developments, removes the obligations on developers and local councilors to consult with iwi and local communities, and limits rights of appeal against council decisions, including resource consent decisions.
Members of Taranaki Whānui iwi filed a claim with the Waitangi Tribunal in February 2016 claiming that the provisions of the HAASHA legislation, and in particular it’s application to Omarukaikuru/Shelly Bay land without the knowledge or approval of iwi members is in breach of several principles and provisions of the Treaty of Waitangi. This claim is awaiting a full hearing in the Kaupapa (housing) inquiry. The applicants say they are considering applying for an urgent hearing of the claim.
Mau Whenua spokesperson Sydney Mepham said that as with Ihumatao, the proposed development at Omarukaikuru/Shelly Bay has seen a broad base of opposition from iwi members, local community residents and local businesses, environmentalists and Wellingtonians and former Wellingtonians generally. “The HAASHA Act is a draconian piece of legislation that removes the rights of many people. However, the use of the HAASHA at Ihumatao and Omarukaikuru/Shelly Bay has had the fortunate side effect of mobilizing many New Zealanders to stand up for their land rights, citizenship rights and their environment.”