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Ed Sheeran

Point England land grab step too far
UMA Broadcasting Ltd

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Tamaki Makaurau MP Peeni Henare says the proposed development of a coastal reserve at Point England sets an unhealthy precedent that Labour can’t support.

The party will vote against a bill which will allow the government to change the status of the land and sell it to Ngati Paoa.

Mr Henare says Labour supports the aspirations of Ngati Paoa to build up its economic base through housing development, but it can’t be at the expense of weakening protection of the environment and public open space.

He says if the bill is passed there will be little to stop Building and Environment Minister Nick Smith dong the same thing to other reserves around the country.

"If the Government is really keen on allowing Ngati Paoa to get that economic footing by way of housing developments, why didn’t they offer Ngati Paoa the opportunity through the Tamaki Redevelopment process which is literally over the fence from the Point England development? None of those options were considered and we’ve got serious concerns when the community comes out in force, when the council comes out in force against the Point England Bill," Mr Henare says.

The Point England development is not a treaty settlement but a commercial deal, with Ngati Paoa having to buy the land and develop it through its won commercial arrangements.

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