Squatters at Shelly Bay learn from the PM’s Ihumātao intervention and hunker down for the long haul

We have opened a book, among members of the Point of Order team, on how long it will be before the PM offers to sort out the land dispute at Wellington’s Shelly Bay and (to win the double) how much the settlement will cost taxpayers.

Just a few weeks ago a bunch called Mau Whenua – who are fighting the sale of land at Shelly Bay – were reported to be pinning their hopes on the Māori Land Court to sort things out.

A Stuff report says Mau Whenua is made up mostly of members from Wellington iwi Taranaki Whānui opposed to an earlier sale of Taranaki Whānui land at Shelly Bay to developer Ian Cassels.

The $500 million Shelly Bay project, led by Cassels, is arguably Wellington’s most-controversial development in living memory due to allegations of the illegal sale of Māori land there, perceptions Wellington City Council bent to the will of Cassels, and concerns the seaside site and road to it can’t handle the intensification.

Mau Whenua was due to appear in the High Court in March in an action aimed at overturning the sale.

Alas, a shortage of money became an impediment to this course of action through the legal system when  significant help with funding to pay the $2.2m required to continue the case was withdrawn. Continue reading “Squatters at Shelly Bay learn from the PM’s Ihumātao intervention and hunker down for the long haul”

PM’s intervening in Ihumato land dispute (or was it meddling?) results in a $29.9m settlement – for now

Phew!  So many announcements have poured from the Beehive in the past 24 hours, it must be challenging for reporters, commentators and analysts to keep up.

While so much was going on, the Government announced the agreement reached on the future of Ihumato and the price tag which is the cost of the Prime Minister’s highly contentious decision to mollify a vociferous bunch of land protesters by intervening.  Or (if you prefer) meddling.

The figure is $29.9 million.

But we should brace for more because of the precedent that has been set.

The best that can be said is that the government books are in better shape now to absorb the price of the state’s involvement than seemed likely a few weeks ago.

The PM – notably – has not added her name to the joint statement on the land dispute that was issued today.

The signatories did include Grant Robertson, deputy prime minister, who has also issued two self-congratulatory statements of an economic nature as Minister of Finance. Continue reading “PM’s intervening in Ihumato land dispute (or was it meddling?) results in a $29.9m settlement – for now”

ActionStation says it accepts no govt money – but who came up with $15,000 of the readies for a grant from Netsafe?

The Taxpayers Union denounced the role it seemed the government would require taxpayers to play in resolving the Ihumatao land dispute.    But the union further claimed that taxpayers had contributed to the funding of an organisation which has been involved in the prolonged protest action at Ihumatao.

This was a reference to ActionStation, which (Stuff reported in August) was working with Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL) and hosted its petition, seeking government intervention to resolve the dispute.

The Taxpayers’ Union disclosed in September that Netsafe, in May, had granted $15,000 in taxpayer funding to ActionStation, according to information obtained under the Official Information Act.

It noted:

And it said:

“Taxpayers are unknowingly supporting ActionStation to tell New Zealanders how to have ‘better, safer and more productive conversations online around Māori, refugees, NZ history and Tiriti‘.  But the Government shouldn’t be boosting the bottom line of any political lobby group.

“People on the left would rightfully be outraged if a National government contracted the Maxim Institute to teach sex-ed in schools, or the New Zealand Initiative to draft the Budget. In principle, this cosy payment to ActionStation is no different.” Continue reading “ActionStation says it accepts no govt money – but who came up with $15,000 of the readies for a grant from Netsafe?”

The Ihumatao saga could have a far-reaching impact on NZ politics

Is the government digging itself into a hole as it awaits a solution to the problem of contested land at Ihumatao?

For two days in a row, PM Jacinda Ardern has backed away from questions over a   Crown loan being used to purchase the land where a housing development has been held up because of a long-running protest.

Continue reading “The Ihumatao saga could have a far-reaching impact on NZ politics”

Little is big on tact as he fields questions related to an array of ministerial portfolios – and to his workload

Is Andrew Little overworked?

The question was raised by TVNZ’s Simon Shepherd in an interview that spanned the Grace Millane case, name suppression orders and Google, abortion law reform, referendums and Winston Peters, the dispute at Ihumatao, and the Labour Party’s handling of sexual harassment  allegations.

Shepherd noted the number of portfolios for which Little is responsible.

He asked:

Okay. Justice, Courts, GCSB, SIS, Treaty negotiations and Pike River – they’re all your portfolios. So why are you carrying such a big load in this coalition government?

Why he is carrying such a big load is a question better addressed to the Prime Minister, who appointed him to those posts. Continue reading “Little is big on tact as he fields questions related to an array of ministerial portfolios – and to his workload”

Race-based politicking at Ihumatao is condemned – by a socialist critic who is batting for the Maori working class

Who would have imagined it?

The carry-on at Ihumatao is being exploited by Maori nationalist parties for – wait for it – race-based politicking purposes.

A bloke named Tom Peters, from an outfit called the Socialist Equality Group, disapproves.  We suspect Hobson’s Pledge and Don Brash might agree with him – but only up to a point.

Peters has posted an item on Scoop in which he examines the occupation led by Maori activists protesting against a proposed property development at a historic archaeological site on the Ihumātao Peninsula in South Auckland.

He writes: Continue reading “Race-based politicking at Ihumatao is condemned – by a socialist critic who is batting for the Maori working class”