Racist rorts in draft Auckland Plan

New Zealand Centre for Political Research

The New Zealand Centre for Political Research is a web-based think tank that takes a research-based approach to public policy matters and encourages the free and open debate of political issues. www.nzcpr.com

The deadline for feedback on the draft Auckland Unitary Plan closed on Friday, 31 May.

In its flyer notifying of the feedback period, the Auckland Council states, “The draft plan covers many critical issues that Aucklanders feel strongly about – so we want your feedback to help create the best plan possible."

Assuming Aucklanders can navigate their way around the council’s Unitary Plan website and delve into its labyrinthine text and maps successfully, they will discover many hidden marvels such as the raft of policies that racially privilege Maori over all other Auckland residents.

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In the overlay objectives and policies section, for example, under the heading 3.3.5.2, there are some intriguing rules proposed for areas that lie within the overlay of “sites of significance to Mana Whenua”.

These sites are “scheduled and protected for their Maori values” and it seems not only that Maori exclusively get to decide what and where these sites are, but they have plenty more up their sleeves.

“Mana Whenua are aware of many other areas, features and sites that may be equally or more significant,” the overlay description states, “and acknowledge there may be shared interests over scheduled locations.”

“It is intended to identify further areas, features and sites nominated by Mana Whenua through future plan changes including those identified through other legislation.”

Moreover, information relating to why Maori sites are significant can be kept secret, it appears.

“Where there is sensitive information regarding the significance of the sites special protocols agreed with Mana Whenua will outline the management of this information.”

As might be expected, there is a cash out value to Maori for littering their significant sites throughout Auckland.

“Subdivision, use and development of any land” that contains a Mana Whenua significant site are proposed to be subject to a plethora of rules that benefit Maori, with highlights including:

  • Enhance the values of the area, feature or site of significance and the relationship of Mana Whenua with their taonga

  • Incorporate matauranga, tikanga and Mana Whenua values, including spiritual values

  • Incorporate the outcomes articulated by Mana Whenua through consultation and within iwi planning documents

  • Demonstrate consideration of practical mechanisms to maintain or enhance the ability to access and use the area, feature, site for karakia, monitoring, customary purposes and ahika roa by Mana Whenua

The draft plan lists definitions for Maori words used and thus Manu Whenua are the people of land with mana or customary authority, taonga are tangible or intangible treasures, matauranga is knowledge, tikanga is Maori customary lore, practices, and protocol, and karakia are ritual recitations.

Strangely, ahika roa isn’t listed in the draft plan’s definitions, but fortunately the Maori Dictionary defines the term as meaning “burning fires of occupation – title to land through occupation by a group, generally over a long period of time.”

“The group is able, through the use of whakapapa, to trace back to primary ancestors who lived on the land.”

So there we have it – the Auckland Unitary Plan is drafted such that Maori with local ancestry may run amok decreeing title over any land they covet under the rule 3.3.5.2.

Plainly these sorts of rules are calculated to enable Maori to make sweeping claims to control and influence over land anywhere in Auckland.

In the process will arise an Auckland-wide Maori-owned industry of ticket-clipping, rent-seeking, danegelding and legalised corruption, imposed on land developers, occupiers, residents and ratepayers under the guise of iwi consultation.

This parasitic pseudo-cultural industry would be of no benefit to the future development of Auckland.

There are some other gems to unearth in the draft plan.

For example in the rules section, Maori land rule 4.4.5.1.2 Notification states, “Discretionary activities in the Maori Land overlay will be considered without public or limited notification, or the need to obtain written approval from affected parties, unless special circumstances exist in accordance with s. 95A(4) of the RMA that make notification desirable.”

The Maori land overlay is comprised of areas drawn in with a violet outline on maps supplied with the draft plan, and can be seen overlaid on Bastion Point, for example.

It seems asymmetric that Maori can skip notifying the public or gaining written approval from affected parties for their own discretionary activities, when they would be very likely to demand these same rights for themselves over any other party’s discretionary activities.

Of great interest also in the zone rules is the special purpose zones subcategory 4.3.9.5 Maori purpose zone.

The activity table and other rules for this subcategory show that Maori can build a high-density village around a marae, such as in the 2.5 hectare special purpose zone marked on the draft plan’s map of Te Atatu Peninsula’s Harbourview reserve.

Rightly Aucklanders should be feeling very strongly about the racist rorts granted to Maori under the draft Unitary Plan.

 
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