Opposition to East Auckland housing development

By Oriini Kaipara

A 300-home development in East Auckland is being opposed by its soon-to-be next door neighbours. Pt England residents fear plans to build the homes and a marae on more than 11ha of reserve land could destroy their backyard and pollute their environment. As Te Kāea reports the housing development is being spearheaded by mana whenua.

A peaceful scene at Pt England reserve residents claim is under threat.

Te Rata Hikairo says, "Our biggest concern is for the environment. We have the Omaru river, the forest, the Waitemata harbour as well as all the people who've long lived around here.”

11.7ha of crown land is being developed to allow 300 new homes. It's a remedy for Auckland's housing crisis. Development is set to begin before April.

Hikairo says, "There are a lot of people living in poverty, and a lot of homeless people. How will building a few homes and a marae here resolve that issue? It won't.”

The development is a joint venture between the Ministry, the Tamaki Redevelopment Company and Ngāti Pāoa. Ngāti Pāoa negotiated to develop a marae as part of their cultural treaty settlement redress.

The initial idea for the development came from Ngāti Pāoa who noticed cows grazing and land going to waste. They then met with Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith 4-6 months before publicly announcing their plans last month.

Greg Gray "Bit annoyed that we're going to see a bit of recreational land be covered in this housing without any sort of consultation with the locals. I mean, I've spoken to people around here and they know absolutely nothing about it."

Wiremu Eketone "A lot of people use this area to play, all sorts you know they come to bring their children. So, it would be good if it stayed like this."

TeRata Hikairo "I'm not opposing Ngati Paoa, but I am asking them as well as Housing and Building Minister Nick Smith to have consideration. They haven't shown any consideration because they haven't come down here.”

Submissions to the Select Committee close at the end of this month.