Plans for park to go to iwi as set­tle­ment

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By CATHERINE HEALY

Auck­land could lose a prime piece of recre­ational land at Glad­stone Rd, Par­nell.

Coun­cil rep­re­sen­ta­tives are speak­ing up to give peo­ple a chance to have their say be­fore it’s too late.

Waitem­ata Lo­cal Board chair­man Shale Cham­bers and Coun­cil­lor Mike Lee say they feel a moral obli­ga­tion to let res­i­dents know about a deal that so far has only been dis­cussed be­hind closed doors.

It con­cerns a treaty set­tle­ment re­dress pro­posal re­gard­ing land at Black­etts Point (Glad­stone Park).

The sites af­fected are the Fred Am­bler Look­out on Glad­stone Rd, the Glad­stone Ten­nis Club and the neigh­bour­ing child­care cen­tre and play­ground. The land is owned by the Crown.

In an Au­gust 5 mem­o­ran­dum from chief crown ne­go­tia­tor Mike Dreaver to Auck­land Coun­cil’s gen­eral coun­sel Wendy Bran­don, Mr Dreaver out­lines the Crown’s in­ten­tions.

He says the Crown in­tends to trans­fer the site of the Fred Am­bler Look­out to the Maru­tu­ahu iwi as re­dress in recog­ni­tion of their his­tor­i­cal in­ter­ests there.

Maru­tu­ahu iwi hail from the Coro­man­del Penin­sula.

Mr Dreaver says the site holds cul­tural sig­nif­i­cance for the Maru­tu­ahu iwi as the site of a re­serve that was promised to them in 1842.

The area was fre­quently used as a base by the Maru­tu­ahu iwi on trad­ing jour­neys from the Coro­man­del Penin­sula.

In the mem­o­ran­dum Mr Dreaver says the preser­va­tion of the look­out and associated carpark will be a con­di­tion of the trans­fer.

How­ever, the rest of the land would be com­mer­cial re­dress, mean­ing the iwi would have to pur­chase it.

The Crown pro­poses that the ten­nis club’s ex­ist­ing lease be pro­tected for a pe­riod of 15 years from set­tle­ment date.

But Mr Lee and Mr Cham­bers fear that in the long term the land where the ten­nis club, child­care cen­tre and play­ground sit could be re­de­vel­oped.

‘‘The real con­cern is th­ese deals are go­ing on and [peo­ple] don’t know about it. Sure, there are con­nec­tions be­tween the Maru­tu­ahu iwi and this land, but that doesn’t mean you should trans­fer well-used com­mu­nity land,’’ Mr Cham­bers says.

Mr Cham­bers has re­quested de­tails of the claim’s ba­sis.

He wants to know why the land was promised in 1842 and ex­actly what was promised, but hasn’t re­ceived the in­for­ma­tion yet.

‘‘We want to be re­spon­si­ble about this. We want to warn peo­ple and we wel­come their ideas,’’ he says.

‘‘There’s not an enor­mous amount of open space in Par­nell. To lose an ac­tively used re­cre­ation park would be a sig­nif­i­cant blow.’’

Photo: CATHERINE HEALY

City view: The view from the Fred Am­bler Look­out.

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