Bird’s eye view of the area in red
Taranaki Whānui Limited (the wholly owned commercial arm of Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust) and the Government’s Land for Housing Programme (HUD) have entered into an MoU to collaborate and work together on the future of a 11.7 hectare site of surplus land on Mt Crawford, on the capital’s Miramar Peninsula.
As part of their Treaty of Waitangi settlement, the trustees of the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust (Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika) have a right of first refusal (RFR) over the site and all scheduled Crown land within the rohe.
The Land for Housing Programme is administered by the Ministry of the Housing and Urban Development. It is tasked with freeing up vacant and underutilised Crown land for housing purposes.
The site is currently made up of Corrections and Defence land that is surplus to requirements, with Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) responsible for its disposal.
‘Iwi have the first right of refusal for the land at Mt Crawford. Taranaki Whānui Limited approached the Ministry in late 2018 with the intention to meet the needs of their members and all Wellingtonians for more affordable housing,’ says Land for Housing Development Manager Phil Stroud.
Stroud says, ‘The Ministry is willing to explore the development potential of Mt Crawford, particularly its potential for housing, including affordable KiwiBuild homes. We look forward to working together towards an outcome that makes the best use of this land.
Taranaki Whānui Chair Wayne Mulligan says that it is still early days before any concrete details are agreed upon.
‘Step one is to agree we will work together with a no-surprises approach and we have signed and sealed that with this MoU. This reinforces the benefits that can be derived from Iwi settlement and the Crown working collaboratively for the collective benefit of Wellingtonians.’
‘There are a wider group of stakeholders that we need to work with, including The Wellington City Council.’
The Ministry and Iwi will be working towards completing the due diligence process by the end of September 2019, building on some initial planning works already undertaken by Iwi and others in late 2016 to determine what is possible to be delivered at the site.
Mulligan says the MoU is an example of Treaty of Waitangi principles in action and ‘the potential development of the Mt Crawford site marks an important milestone for Taranaki Whānui aspirations to restore, revitalise strengthen and enhance the cultural, social and economic well-being of Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika and to deliver much needed affordable housing solutions to our members and community. The preservation of cultural and historic aspects of the site are top of mind, and we will be working with a range of stakeholders on that aspect.’