Mau Whenua statement on Nicky Hager Investigative Report – The long, sorry saga of Shelly Bay – Published Saturday 4th of July 2020
Hirini Jenkins-Mepham Chair of the Mau Whenua group opposing Port Nicholson Block Trustees land sales said “Nicky Hager’s investigative report into City Council, Wellington developer and Port Nicholson Settlement Trust (PNBST) strongly supports our contention that a Public Enquiry into complicity and shady dealings must be initiated – and now. We fully endorse Nicky Hager’s report. Let the truth be known. Mau Whenua recognise the quality of journalism in the detailed investigation documented and published in the Hager report.”
Given the seriousness of the detail presented in the Hager report Mau Whenua are continuing to seek the Public Enquiry in Local Government, Central Government, Developer dealings with their Treaty Settlement Trust PNBST. They also seek an urgent meeting with Wellington City Council (WCC) Mayor and Councilors. Mau Whenua believes the sale and lease of the WCC owned land at Shelly Bay should not go ahead. “If WCC continue with the sale and 125 year lease it would only perpetuate the injustices already visited upon Taranaki Whānui ki te Upoko o Te Ika people.”
Hager clearly sets out the sorry events and disturbing facts around the proposed Shelly Bay development including the active complicity and lack of transparency over years by key players the PNBST, The Wellington Company Ltd., its associate company Shelly Bay Investment ltd. (SBIL), and Wellington City Council.
Hager details the underhand dealings of players involved in what Taranaki Whānui ki te Upoko o Te Ika members consider a modern day “land grab” of Tangata Whenua land. It not only identifies the great wrong committed against Taranaki Whānui but also what is proposed to the detriment of the Wellington community.
Mau Whenua continues with its High Court case scheduled for March 2021, seeking orders to bring the land located at Shelly Bay, formerly owned by the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust (PNBST) back into the ownership of the iwi members of Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika.
Mau Whenua considers that the ‘secret sales’, behind closed doors complicity, and other transactions highlighted by Hager were a breach of trust by the Trustees. Mau Whenua further claim in legal proceedings , that the Wellington Company group owned by Mr Cassels and it’s associated Shelly Bay Investments Limited (SBIL) knew or ought to have known it was acquiring trust property in breach of trust. Mau Whenua argues that the Wellington Company and SBIL should not be allowed to retain ownership of the Shelly Bay Properties and that those properties should be returned to the ownership of iwi members.
Mau Whenua representatives consider that “Cassels continues to put on a brave, determined face, considering he doesn’t have secure ownership of the disputed land.”
As kaitiaki we, Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika a Maui are responsible for the protection and sustainable use of the whenua. To honour our Tupuna, to protect the futures of our children. When our Trustees fail us we must all stand up and take responsibility to right the wrongs.
Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust is the governance entity established by Taranaki Whānui for the purpose of settling its historic treaty claims with the Crown and to receive and administer the trust fund for the benefit of present and future members of Taranaki Whānui.
Ian Cassels is Director of The Wellington Company and Shelly Bay Investment Limited
Which is a property development company.