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Thursday December 13, 2018

Shelly Bay iwi determined to get their land back By Jamie Adams

Local iwi collective Taranaki Whanui vow to reverse the sale of Shelly Bay land by the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust (PNBST), a decision they say is an injustice to the original owners. Spokesman Anaru Mepham says the successful challenge in the Court of Appeal by Enterprise Miramar to a housing development plan by new owners The Wellington Company was “remarkable”, but also places Taranaki Whanui in a new position. “It’s a position of opportunity where people can potentially influence the outcome of this next stage of planning and development of our land here,” Anaru says. “We challenge the sale of this land; the sale of this land is unlawful.” In 2016 the PNBST asked members to vote on permission to sell three sections of land they had bought from the Crown. It had been bought for $15 million with money received from a treaty settlement. Despite Taranaki Whanui’s five iwi opposing the sale, the trust went ahead anyway, with the land sold to The Wellington Company for $2 million, well below its valuation of $7.4m. “This whenua has been sold by our own people for a pittance, which is disgraceful,” iwi member Dan Love says. “The vote clearly came back not to sell.” Anaru believes the sale has breached article 2 of the Treaty of Waitangi regarding how land transactions are dealt. Last Thursday Taranak i Whanui members gathered at Shelly Bay to plant a Tino Rangatiratanga flag in a sym-


inbrief news Talk therapies critical for preventing suicides Samaritans Wellington welcomes the Mental Health and Addiction Inquiry report to Government, believing access to talk therapies is critical for preventing suicides. “We would like to see the Government working together with community organisations like Samaritans to properly fund the talk therapy services that are already in place” Wellington board chair Peter Barker says. He says Samaritans has a vital role in suicide prevention — listening and talking to people who are distressed, depressed, lonely and contemplating suicide, but as a volunteer organisation that receives no government funding, it is “forced to lead a hand-to-mouth existence”.

Wellington ‘one of top destinations’ A panel consisting of five of the world’s top travel influencers and bloggers has chosen Wellington, as one of the six top emerging travel destinations in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific for 2019. The annual awards honouring up-and-coming destinations were published last night on the site, which covers emerging and under-toured destinations around the world. Winning destinations were determined by a panel consisting of five of the top travel bloggers, vloggers, and influencers in the world, with a combined following on social media of over 1.2 million. Wellington was nominated for the award by the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency.

Members of Taranaki Whanui admire the Tino Rangatiratanga flag, right, after it was erected by Anaru Mepham, left, at Shelly Bay on Thursday following the Court of Appeal ruling. PHOTO: Jamie Adams

bolic gesture of claiming the land back. “We are calling for the trustees of the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust to step down from their positions and get the people to revote and have a say in how this trust should be managed,” Anaru says. Hereni Jenkins-Mepham says with the resource consent quashed, the chance to move forward constructively

is “huge”. “We are tangata whenua. Without land we have no identity,” Hereni says. Another iwi member, longterm Shelly Bay resident Kenney-Jean Sidwell, says she has felt “so much grief” since the sale. “This is wrong for iwi, wrong for the community and for the environment.” Anaru says they are prepared to fight the sale in court if

necessary and are now seeking to meet Treaty Negotiations Minister Andrew Little to discuss whether they have a case. They say the saddest aspect of the situation is the lack of communication from the trust, which has only been prepared to speak through its lawyers. The PNBST has been approached by phone and email for comment. There was no reply as of yesterday.

Christmas craft market After successes with previous events in July and October, Kilbrinie is gearing up for its third Craft Market, this time with a Christmas theme. Organiser Sonia Markholm says everything to be displayed has been hand made by local crafters and there will be a number of great items for Christmas gifts including dolls’ clothes, crocheted and knitted teddies and toys, jewellery, paintings, cards, peg dolls, Christmas decorations, hand bags, fans, crystals and art works. Kilbirnie Christmas Craft Market will be at Kilbirnie Community Centre, 56 Bay Road, from 10am to 2pm on Saturday, December 15.


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