Yesterday we covered National’s blunder in not considering Treaty settlement obligations in its plans to free up state land for Auckland housing. Today you can read someone who actually knows what they’re talking about on the issue, check out Professor Geddis’ piece at Pundit:
A tangata whenua shaped elephant on the path
… In essence, all Crown owned land (except for that occupied by tertiary institutions) in an area that stretches coast-to-coast from Massey in the North to the mouth of the Waikato River in the South is classified as being “right of first refusal land”. (There’s a map of exactly where is covered on p.59 of this pdf of the Settlement Deed.) This right then means that if the Crown wants to pass on title to that land to anyone else (whether by selling it or otherwise), it first must offer to let a body representing the various iwi and hapū have it on those same terms.
Note that this isn’t just a polite suggestion. It’s a rule of law:
121 Restrictions on disposal of RFR land
(1) [The Crown] must not dispose of RFR land to any person other than the Limited Partnership or a rōpū entity (or the Limited Partnership’s or rōpū entity’s nominee) unless the land is disposed of under subsection (2) or (3).
However, Nick Smith seems confident that everything will be OK:
“There is first right of refusal in the Tamaki Redress Act that Parliament passed last year, but it specifically makes reference to the capacity for the Government to be able to develop and sell land for housing purposes and what the Government is doing is absolutely consistent with what’s in that Act.”
Now, of course, it may be that Nick Smith is thinking of trying to pull a swifty here. Maybe he’s thinking that once the Government says “we’re going to use this land of ours that was set aside for something else for housing”, then this immediately makes it into land “that is held for State housing purposes” as per s.136. All I can say to that line of thinking is … good luck getting it past a High Court judge on judicial review proceedings!
Or, alternatively, there’s always s.131 of the Act:
[The Crown] may dispose of RFR land in accordance with an obligation under any enactment or rule of law.
What odds a Foreshore and Seabed Act for the Auckland property market?
Go read the full article at Pundit.