Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whātua could be the next big developers in the hot Auckland property market, after signing an agreement with Housing Minister Nick Smith.
The agreement was signed between the government and 13 iwi associated with Ngā Mana Whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau, guaranteeing them first rights of refusal over state house land to be developed.
Four months ago Minister Nick Smith tried to pull the mat from under their feet. But now he's left eating his words.
Tame Te Rangi from Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Whātua says, “Perhaps due to his abrupt decision making he failed to consult with others.”
The agreement between the government and Ngā Mana Whenua o Tāmaki Makaurau states where the Government intends to develop land subject to a Right of First Refusal for state housing purposes, they must offer the development opportunity to the Tāmaki iwi first. But, Tame Te Rangi says it's not all riches.
Te Rangi says, “Let's not believe that from this arrangement, funding will trickle down to our iwi groups.”
In recent weeks the Auckland region has been a hotspot of contention with Waikato Tainui stepping into the mix. This agreement may stir the pot even more.
“Perhaps Waikato-Tainui have other use for the land under their authority, which will be known, should they decide to work collaboratively with the other iwi partners within Tāmaki,” says Te Rangi.
The government will continue its housing development programme, which could see those tribes as development partners in the near future.