D-day for Tauranga land proposal policy change

Tauranga City Council is proposing a streamlined acquisitions and disposals policy. File Image. SunLive.

Tauranga residents have one last chance to have their say on changes to the way council buy and sell property.

The change includes the addition of a policy affording mana whenua right of first refusal on council property.

At present, council have three policies related to acquisition and disposal of land, the Strategic Acquisitions Fund Policy, the Council Land: Recognition of Tangata Whenua Interests and Aspirations Policy and the Property Acquisition and Divestment Road Stopping; but the new Draft Acquisitions and Disposals Policy will see that streamlined into one.

Mana whenua will be given the opportunity to purchase council property through a right of first refusal at market value, before being offered for sale through an open market process.

“The proposed right of first refusal, recognises the role that mana whenua have in building, protecting and celebrating Tauranga, its environment and its people, and acknowledges the partnership between council and mana whenua,” reads a statement from Tauranga City Council.

The policy change proposal was made aware to the public last month and submissions close today with residents encouraged to fill in an online submission form or to attend a community drop in session at Hungahungatoroa Club, Matapihi at 5.30pm-7.30pm this evening.

A hearing committee will then consider submissions received and provide recommendations to Council in mid-2021 with the final policy due to come into action from mid to late 2021.

For more information on the proposed change visit

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Tom Ranger

Posted on 19-04-2021 13:58 | By

@morepork. Totally agree. Yes...more discussions should have been done/required. I assume the current govt is attempting to rip the plaster off quickly so it doesn’t hurt as much. (It hurts more but less ongoing pain) Fair is a complicated thing. The devil is always in the detail. Communication is a good cornerstone for any relationship and it is lacking from govt on many issues not just this one. I think everyone here knows what I think of govt...Should not be trusted. I don’t trust them over this. or anything else. If the govt did decide to subsidize these deals for maori. (I doubt they will). I assume that would upset people as well. Anyways.... Have a nice day. Keep smiling. :) We’ll all get there. Wherever that is.

The right,

Posted on 19-04-2021 08:15 | By R. Bell

of "first refusal" was part of negotiated settlements that reflects the facts pointed out by Tom Ranger. It is Maori who have room to complain, not the minority of whinging Pakeha.

As usual,

Posted on 19-04-2021 08:09 | By R. Bell

it’s the ones who offend the most, complain the most. Morepork grizzles about "division" when the whole subject of his comments reflect division. Complains about "fair price" ignoring the theft of said land. Andrew64 claims racism ignoring the racism of his own comment. There can be no progress in race relations for those who refuse to recognise past injustice and their own privilege gained from it.

@Tom Ranger

Posted on 17-04-2021 14:40 | By morepork

Tom, I am not against Maori being assisted to pay the proper price (that would be a right and proper use of some of the interest on some of the reparation funds that have been paid); I recognize the emotional and spiritual value of te papa to Maori. And I certainly believe that certain lands SHOULD be in Maori hands. (Especially if they were obtained historically illegally and unfairly...) My problem with what is proposed is that it is simply unfair to the rest of us. The intention is good, but the means is misguided. That was my whole point. I am worried about how actions like this are stopping progress in Race relations and feeding resentment into existing bigotry. I do NOT believe Apartheid is right for ANY of us. It needs to be SEEN to be FAIR.


Posted on 17-04-2021 14:30 | By morepork

" I wonder if the land had been taken from a white person..." Wonder no longer. I would have EXACTLY the same objections as I have voiced, no matter WHAT color the people who were getting favored treatment were. My objection is not on Racial grounds; it is about a level playing field for "ONE people". I fiercely support diversity in all its forms, but, even more, I support fairness and justice for ALL. (Including Maori, as it happens...)

Tom Ranger

Posted on 17-04-2021 13:38 | By

@olemanriver - If it happened to you. You’d like some way to get it back into family hands. The way they are choosing to address these thing’s re maori will/is causing division. Mostly when people don’t understand that they are trying to address what was a historical wrongdoing. Or don’t believe that any compensation should be paid in any form. @ morepork. A fair and proper price = Sold to highest bidder. = Aucklanders. Not saying that’s a good/bad thing. But it would be nice imo to have certain sites important to maori back. I remember hearing I thik it was Andrew Little saying. It is maori whom are being generous regarding the treaty. Claims paid amount to less than 0.2% of the actual value of the claim. Surely we can afford to let some maori sites back into the hands of maori. They will be paying something forit

Good Idea?

Posted on 17-04-2021 12:13 | By

We should do this the day after USA allows American Indians, and Australia allows aborigines the same racist privileges.

Land ownership

Posted on 17-04-2021 11:42 | By

Occupation does not confer ownership and without legal title there is no ownership, ipso facto land that was never owned should not be offered exclusively back to those who allegedly occupied it.


Posted on 17-04-2021 09:19 | By

This is no way to bring people together. It will divide us, and there will be resentment that will endure.


Posted on 16-04-2021 17:40 | By

Nobody owns anything until there is a legal system in place.

Same same

Posted on 15-04-2021 19:57 | By

No surprise that the racist boomers are out to complain as usual. I wonder in the land had been taken from a white person, if these same people would also be against the land being offered to them first.....


Posted on 15-04-2021 16:45 | By

It’s absolutely imperative this government goes. I shudder at what more damage they will inflict upon us in the next two and a half years. I just wish everyone understood the political cycle in NEW ZEALAND and swing voters understand the consequences of a Labour/Green vote. The cycle is after a few terms in power people feel a need for change and vote Labour. They destroy everything that National achieved and when National comes back it takes years to repair the damage. It’s an ongoing cycle that prevents us ever really getting ahead and I am really concerned about how, as a country, we will ever pay for the continuous outpouring of cash that’s been happening recently.

@Andrew64 and Bigted

Posted on 15-04-2021 12:46 | By morepork

I agree with you both, but it is worse than you think. If Maori decide they DO want to buy the land in question they will pay whatever they want to and there will be no chance of a public auction to realize a fair and proper price. Without an auction there is no estimation of the actual value of the land. Unfortunately, in the current Political climate we are seeing policies designed to advantage Maori, being presented as a "requirement" of the Treaty and it is seriously undermining our Democracy and any chance of a level playing field with a fair go for ALL. I believe we need to change the Government and I’ll reflect that the next time I vote.

Obviously unfair...

Posted on 15-04-2021 12:39 | By morepork

... and part of a misguided attempt to make it look like Maori are better protectors of the Land than anyone else. This policy simply encourages separatism, and is another step back for Race Relations. It is understandable that Maori have a great interest in the land and the ownership of it. So we might expect to see Maori bidders in the front row of the Auction, but to have a closed "first go at it" is divisive and simply wrong. (I would not be against special assistance for Maori to be able to purchase the land, if there was genuine hardship for iwi to raise the cash... or even for Maori to be seen as "preferred purchasers", provided the auction was open and fair. But excluding non-Maori from an open and fair process is just adding years to the ultimately inevitable unification of our country.


Posted on 15-04-2021 10:38 | By

Buy a wonky car park for $7 million and then sell it to the contractor for $1 when they tell you it will cost $10 to demolish. Buy high, sell low.


Posted on 15-04-2021 10:33 | By

That’s racism any way you care to look at it. It’s abhorrent and unacceptable.

Are we one people?

Posted on 15-04-2021 10:04 | By bigted

The council land belongs to the people, despite race or creed. To be oblidged to ask a selected few whether they wish to purchase our commonly owned land firstly is wrong. "We are all equal, but some are more equal than others" - Animal Farm quote.