Point England

On the 7th of December 2016, the Minister for Building and Construction and the Environment, Nick Smith, introduced a Bill to the House of Representatives to enable a high density housing development on 11.69 hectares of public green space at Point England Reserve in Tāmaki, East Auckland.

The purpose of the Bill is threefold:

(a) To revoke the reserve status of the land without normal public consultation processes

(b) To subdivide the land from the remainder of the reserve without the need for a resource consent – and

(c) To rezone the land from Public Open Space to Mixed Housing Urban, which is a high density residential zone, without the need for a plan change.

The Government has offered the land to Ngāti Paoa to purchase for a housing development as part of their Treaty settlement but it comes with strings attached (see Letter of Offer to Ngāti Paoa below).

The proposal was put together in secret, under the confidentiality of the Treaty Settlement process. The community only became aware of the proposal in December 2016.

The Bill is currently before the Local Government and Environment Select Committee. The Committee has heard over 120 submissions opposing the Bill and a small number supporting the Bill. There have been two petitions with over 5,000 signatures presented to Parliament opposing the Bill. The community wants to preserve the Reserve for future generations.

Both the Maungakiekie-Tamaki Local Board and Auckland Council have openly criticised the Bill, expressing significant concern about the legislation overriding normal statutory processes and setting a precedent that cuts across the Resource Management Act 1991 and the Reserves Act 1977.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff’s preference is for Point England to remain as a reserve. He presented Auckland Council’s submission to the Select Committee and urged the Committee to explore  all other options for Treaty Settlement, including using land owned by the Tāmaki Regeneration Company (TRC) which is currently worth $1.2 billion. TRC itself is owned by the Government.

The Government is trying to fast-track the Bill through Parliament and the Select Committee is due to report back on 28 April 2017. The local bird sanctuary was not consulted and will be destroyed, read more about the Point England Bird Sanctuary at savepe.org.nz. The community has been caught unawares by the Bill and needs to act quickly to save its Reserve.

Press releases

Conservation Minister silent on habitat destruction

Winston Peters slams National for selling local park for housing

Trademe listing

Leading broadcaster slams Government land grab

Opposition to the Point England Development Enabling Bill – It’s about the environment, stupid

Texting Campaign to Save Park, 3 April 2015

Media coverage

Waatea News: Dotterel eviction inevitable under Paoa plan

Scoop: Government Double Dipping at Pt England

Herald on Sunday, Letter to Editor: The path of democratic protest is a long and rocky one

Newsroom: No easy answer in Pt England land tussle

NZ Herald: Julie Chambers – Move to take part of Pt England Reserve for homes nothing better than land grab

Stuff: Point England Reserve goes on sale for a $1 in aim to raise awareness

Radio NZ:

Te Karere TVNZ: Public opposition to housing development by Auckland mana whenua continues

Scoop: Leading broadcaster slams Government land grab

Labour: Labour suggests a way to save Pt England Reserve from a Treaty settlement

Labour: National and Maori Party to carve up playgrounds

Waatea News: Point England land grab step too far

NZ Herald: Pt England reserve housing development opposed by Labour as ‘land grab’

Bird Sanctuary press release March 2017: Petition to save reserve presented

Stuff: Local boards fearful the Government will subdivide more public reserves

Maori TV: Nick Smith slams Auckland Council opposition to proposed Pt England development

RMLA: Development Enabling Bill undermines RMA and Reserves Act, says local Board

Berry Simons: Aucklanders locked out of Government move to get rid of reserves

NZ First: Protest Grow As National Rushes To Chop Up Parkland

RadioNZ: Local board fights Pt England development

Stuff: Hui held over Point England Reserve housing development

Newshub: Endangered dotterels face eviction with new housing development

Stuff: Pt England Reserve development will be ‘dire’ for endangered birds

RadioNZ: Pt England residents angry over iwi house plan

Waatea News: Green space threat alarms Mayor

RadioNZ: Auckland residents oppose iwi housing plan

Forest & Bird: Proposed housing development in Point England will evict wildlife

Stuff: Point England Reserve developers Ngati Paoa respond to public concerns

Maori TV: Locals plead with Ngāti Paoa to stop development

NZ Herald: Fears East Auckland housing development could endanger wildlife

RadioNZ: Auckland iwi to turn part of reserve into 300 houses

Construction News: Point England Reserve on the Tamaki foreshore is set to become a test case

Resources

Letter of offer to Ngāti Paoa

The Enabling Bill

RIS of Bill

Ngāti Paoa Submission

Local Board submission

Auckland Council submission