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Ed Sheeran

Shelly Bay vote review shows no deliberate suppression

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A group challenging the Port Nicholson Settlement Trust’s sale of former defence land at Shelly Bay is welcoming a report highlighting flaws in the way the trust ran its beneficiary roll.

Mau Whenua Chair Hirini Jenkins-Mepham says the report for the Maori Land Court by Sir Wira Gardiner confirms many beneficiaries were disenfranchised during critical votes about the sale.

He says it took almost five years to get action.

"So many of our people have been disenfranchised so that has been corrected and the judge has substantiated that with his directions. We are going to be able to sit down, Mau Whenua and the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust, and work out a timeline and a work plan that will enable us to reinstate and restore those people who have been lost to us," he says.

Mau Whenua is also pursuing a High Court action challenging the sale of Shelly Bay in chunks to developer Ian Cassels’ The Wellington Company, after trustees failed to secure the super-majority needed to allow a complete sale.

The Port Nicholson Settlement Trust says it was encouraged by Sir Wira Gardiner’s finding that no evidence of deliberate and excessive suppression of votes was found, and it was contacting all its 19,000 members, regardless of their membership status, to give them a chance to update their details.

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