A group of Maori landowners is vowing to fight a plan that will strip them of their ancestral land in Papamoa.
SAVE Tumu Kaituna have grave fears that more than 4000 Maori landowners will be cut out of 55 hectares of their land if a proposal by Tumu Kaituna 14 Trust, Tauranga City Council, developers and neighbouring non-Maori landowners to sell the land goes through.
“It’s about fair process and whether the proposed development benefit the collective Maori owners and future generations of Maori,” says SAVE Tumu Kaituna co-spoksperson Karen Stowers.
“Maori land is more valuable than money – never sell it.
“The proposed development could provide new housing for 15,500 people, but we have seen no plans that provide housing for the Maori landowners.
“We also must consider if it really is the best use of the land, for our people and the environment, and an over populated urban city,” says Karen.
SAVE Tumu Kaituna co-spokesperson Rawiri Bhana says the plan lacked Maori values including intergenerational thinking and the trustees needed to get back to the table with their people or get off the table.
“A lot of our people are really hurt that those they have put their faith in could potentially sell what little land they have left,” says Rawiri.
“The lack of transparency behind the proposed development and the trust’s minimal consultation with Maori landowners is a real cause for concern.
“There is no evidence to show the Trust are putting the owners aspirations and needs first.”
A post on the Tauranga City Council website says council are working with landowners to create a new coastal community in Papamoa East, "to help support our city’s future growth".
"Te Tumu is a place of great historic and cultural wealth, both for Tangata Whenua and European settlers. Bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the north, the Kaituna River and farmlands to the south, Te Tumu is well-positioned to connect the city to these resources.
"Tauranga City Council is working closely with landowners, iwi and hapu to collaboratively decide what the future of Te Tumu might look like. You can find out more about this project, what the next steps are and how to have your say, on the pages below."
Read more about the proposed development here.