Land sacred except when we want to sell it to foreigners, Ctd

I have had a clarification on the details I blogged earlier regarding Te Uri o Hau that sold 230 hectares of their 616 hectare forest at Te Arai beach, near Mangawhai, to American financier and golf enthusiast Ric Kayne.

Hi Cameron, just re: your post on Te Uri o Hau and Te Arai, the point about that land was that the hapu wasn’t given the land back in its settlement – it purchased it as part of its settlement.  The key points of that bit of land are:

  • This land was not a ‘cultural asset’ (Treaty settlement jargon, sorry).  The 616 hectares is a low value pine forest which was purchased by Te Uri o Hau as a commercial asset for economic redress in its 2002 Treaty settlement. It was purchased with the explicit intention of developing it and on-selling it.
  • Te Uri o Hau manages all its commercial assets (whatever those assets might be) in a way which delivers the highest economic value back to the hapu and, ultimately, to its beneficiaries.  That is what is happening in terms of its ongoing interests at Te Arai.

That makes much more sense that what was reported by the MSM. In those regards it seems that the Trustees are acting very prudently and in a proper commercial manner, something this blog supports wholeheartedly.


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  • kevin

    So, they paid X $ and sold for Y $… I wonder what the profit was? I recall they may have cut/milled the trees paid for in the X price. Just curious.

  • Collapsed Maul

    Interesting Clarifaction. Just one question. In that Pine Forest is a stream (check via Google earth) and in that stream is water.
    Do we understand that this Hapu sold the stream and water, or did they retain ownership rights to that water since, as is asserted over recent months, water is very sacred to them? or is just some water sacred?

    • Magor

      Excellent comment..!

  • cows4me

    Seems to me they are doing what is good common sense. The land and trees by themselves had no real value unless large chucks of cash could be used to develop it. Te Uri-o-Hau did not have the cash. Selling the land to a rich developer had two positive outcomes 1) It freed up much needed cash for other projects and they didn’t have to borrow or pay interest 2) Part of the deal as I believe it to be was the developer had offered long term employment opportunities to members of the tribe for years to come. Why criticise people who show wisdom and foresight, it’s petty.

    • Collapsed Maul

      Not sure that it is being petty to hold up a mirror to people
      The Hapu website, from what I can see from it, does not state what they are going to do with the sale funds except use them to develop more of the land for sale. (sorry if I have missed something)
      as for long term employment opportunities, stuff website says
      “Te Uri o Hau said the development of the course would add about $5.9 million to the local economy and the complex would create about 30 jobs”
      30 jobs. Really?
      Here is the Hapu press release
      I invite you to look at Dilworth College in Auckland. It owns huge tracks of very valuable real eastate in Newmarket / Remuera area and makes a fortune every year from ground leases. Similair situation for the church in St Johns in Auckland. These bodies know how to make a fortune without selling the land.
      This Hapu land up north will be worth a huge amount of money in years to come. Their reason for selling was (from Stuff website)
      ‘Anticipating a backlash, Te Uri o Hau released a set of questions and answers including “why is Te Uri o Hau selling its land to a wealthy foreigner?”.
      The hapu said it offered the land sale to the Department of Conservation and the Auckland Regional Council, who both declined it’
      So, they had to sell it to the US developer, because no one else would buy it. They could not think of anything besides selling it.
      Makes you scream. Only a fool would have sold that land

  • BoredofBrownieStories

    MSM loves to report pretty much any non-event that can be construed or misinterpreted by the unknowing public as ‘Greedy maoris, being greedy’.

    Of course, it makes good press – and people like yourself Cam will
    be the first to jump up and down, because nothing gets the rednecks
    fired up like the sniff of maori enterprise. However, if people bothered to do some investigation; 99/100 times they’ll find nothing terribly exciting; the tone of the conversation then usually turns to ‘well, they could have done a better job’ – how wonderfully paternalistic.

    Of course there’s no prejudice behind it, we subject all similar-sized businesses and trusts to the same level of public scrutiny, don’t we?

    • Alex

      Did you actually bother to ascertain the context in which WO is making this comment? WO supported the Crafar farm sales to the Chinese, and opposed the bleating from iwi groups who claimed they were being robbed. No one would have a problem here if it weren’t for the double standards engaged in by iwi groups.

      • Andy C

        The context was WO being full of baloney in his first post. If he’d spent any time investigating the background he would have found out that there was no case to answer. But be our guest, try and pretend he did something else if it makes you feel better.

  • parorchestia

    Let’s summarise. Te Uri o Hau did sell to a foreigner. Bye bye spiritual associations. And perhaps that foreigner owns it through a FOT so pays no tax and his earnings are not reported to his home country?