The Government’s bid to take 11 hectares of public reserve land at Pt England for housing is a short-sighted, ill-advised land grab that flies in the face of the local community’s wishes, says Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues Spokesperson Phil Twyford.
Mr Twyford and the party’s Maungakiekie candidate Priyanca Radhakrishnan today announced Labour’s decision to withdraw support for the Point England Development Enabling Bill which is before Parliament.
“The Bill would revoke the reserve status of 11 hectares which the Government intends to sell to Ngati Pāoa for a housing development as part of its Treaty settlement.
“This is another Nick Smith fiasco. This Minister from Nelson doesn’t seem to understand Auckland is going to get another million people in the next 30 years. The Minister seems to think because some of the land has cows grazing on it, its fair game to take it for housing. The community needs this land for future generations. Once it is sold for housing it will be permanently lost to the public.
“Nick Smith thinks building on park land is a solution to the housing crisis. But he refuses to do things that would actually make a difference including banning foreign buyers, taxing speculators, stopping state house sales or launching a massive government building programme,” says Phil Twyford.
Priyanca Radhakrishnan says 20,000 more people are expected to live in Tāmaki and it needs open spaces.
“What has left the community upset and angry is the National Government has been secretive and underhanded. They never consulted with the community.
“I’ve called a public meeting on April 26 so people can prepare to fight this land grab.”
Phil Twyford said opposing the Bill was a tough call for Labour because of the party’s strong support for treaty settlements.
“We support Ngati Paoa aspirations but the National Government has completely stuffed it up. They could have offered land the Government already owns which is right next to the reserve that is now part of the Tāmaki redevelopment. Instead they’re grabbing park land against the wishes of the local community which sets a dangerous precedent,” says Mr Twyford.