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Ihumatao needs action not sympathy

The Petition of Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL) calling on Parliament to revoke Special Housing Area 62 in order to protect the Ihumatao Peninsula and Stonefields, has fallen on deaf ears, says the Labour MP for Mangere Su’a William Sio. 

“All we got from the Government committee members are comments that we raised ‘important points about the land’s historical and cultural significance’ and their sympathy. We needed action not sympathy.

“Ihumatao is an internationally significant heritage landscape and an important natural, archaeological and historic area that should be protected for future generations. 

“Labour Party members on the committee called on the Government and Auckland Council to convene a collaborative process that includes all the stakeholders to explore alternative approaches to the future use of this site. 

“Labour members in a minority statement pointed out that National’s Special Housing Area legislation fast tracked a controversial project that needed more time so the complexities and competing interests could be weighed up. 

“Fletcher Residential has resource consent to build 500 houses on this significant Mangere land and the area was designated as a Special Housing Area to try and solve the Auckland housing crisis. But the houses will be priced at the high end of the market, way out of reach of most people. 

“For Government to force through this SHA despite the significant evidence presented by SOUL is a sign of an arrogant and uncaring government. 

“Our community will be left with no other choice but to heighten our peaceful protest if an amicable resolution is not found,” says Su’a William Sio.