Righting a historic wrong: Co-ownership structure of Tauranga CBD land gets go aheadPosted by On

The Tauranga Waterfront plans include replacing the current carpark with green space.

Tauranga’s CBD sits on Te Papa Peninsula, on part of 13,000 hectares handed to the Church Missionary Society in 1838 by iwi.
Photo: Supplied / LDR

Tauranga City Council has given the green light to a new co-ownership structure for land in the CBD, which the commissioner has described as righting a historical wrong.

The block of land on Willow Street will be governed by the council and the Otamataha Trust, which represents mana whenua from the area.

Tauranga’s CBD sits on Te Papa Peninsula, on part of 13,000 hectares handed by iwi to the Church Missionary Society in 1838, intended for the benefit of both Māori and the church.

But the church gave it to the Crown in the 1860s, despite mana whenua objections.

Tauranga City commissioner Anne Tolley, said the site had a long complex ownership history and the partnership is a historic milestone.

“Mana whenua have long argued that the land wasn’t being used for the original intention that they’d sold it to the Missionary Society and therefore it should have been returned to Māori rather than being given to the Crown.”

“It’s a long history of grievance and a very simple process that we’ve put in place recognises that history, recognises the original intention of the use of that land, which was for the benefit of Māori and the wider community,” Tolley said.

At Monday’s meeting commissioner Sharach Rolleston paid tribute to the late Peri Kohu, who died not long after the proposal to establish a Council Controlled…

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