Land sacred except when we want to sell it to foreigners

Maori claim a special connection to land. It is one of the things they most want, after great wads and dollops of cash in their settlements under the treaty of Waitangi.

So what do you call it when they then flog off that land to foreigners?

A Northland hapu has sold a swathe of beachfront Northland land to a multi-millionaire Los Angeles fund manager who plans to build a championship golf course on the area.

Te Uri o Hau has sold 230 hectares of their 616 hectare forest at Te Arai beach, near Mangawhai, to American financier and golf enthusiast Ric Kayne.

Kayne, the founder and CEO of Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, an $18 billion alternative asset manager, has commissioned renowned golf course architect Tom Doak to design the championship links-style course.

Kayne said Doak, the designer of the internationally rated Cape Kidnappers course in Hawke’s Bay, aimed to create a similar-level course at Mangawhai.

Doak was known as a “minimalist” designer who used the natural lay of the land and none of the course would be visible from the beach.

Te Uri o Hau received the forest as an asset in its 2002 Treaty of Waitangi settlement. The deal was signed off by the Overseas Investment Office who imposed a number of conditions including replanting of the area with native trees and establishment of a trust for protection for nesting shorebirds.

The land is currently a commercial pine plantation but trees have already been felled to make way for the course.

The land was given tot hem in settlement and now they have flogged it off. They know it is going to cause grief too:

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.

Personally I don’t have a problem with anyone selling their assets to whomever. But I do have a problem when one of the reasons given for receiving land in settlement is some supposed natural affinity to the land…which lasts only as long as it takes to find a wealthy offshore buyer. Either you have an affinity for the land and wish to protect it for generations to come or you are a just like anyone else..can’t have it both ways.


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  • In Vino Veritas

    Oh well, it shan’t be long before the Te Uri o Hau make a claim that they have been duped out of the land and they should be compensated…..

  • Jimmie

    Called have your cake and eat it too.

    Step one: Get Waitangi Tribunal to order Government to hand land & cash back due to historic (or fictitious) grievances.

    Step two: After finding out that owning land involves hard work and input sell said land to some sucker/rich foreigner in order to allow said person to apply required input to develop and bank/spend the cash.

    Step three: After development completed dream up a new grievance against government and/or new owner which involves lots of noisy protest.

    Step four: After causing all sorts of PR nightmares for the new owner, buy land back from new owner at heavily discounted price.

    Step five: Retake possession of newly developed land, invite all and sundry to ‘live’ on said land.

    Step six: Allow natural growth of gorse/blackberry/barberry/broom to occur

    Step seven: After years of weed growth complain to the local council and/or government and demand they pay to have said weeds sprayed.

    Sadly seems to be the case in a lot of situations

    • Bunswalla

      Actually the saying is “eat your cake and (still) have it”, which is exactly what is going to happen here. They’ll eat the cake i.e. spend all the money, and I bet most of it doesn’t find its way to the grass roots.
      Then they’ll insist that they still have the cake i.e. the land belongs to them, and they belong to the land. Quite clever, really.

    • Name

      This really needs to STOP

  • BJ

    Not just the land but also the land improvements – already planted.
    One of this countries primary industries – our forestry was stuffed in no small part due to Maori selling vast areas of forests to overseas company’s. Where’s all the jobs for their people that were going to be created by the forestry being given to them. If they think a fat income is to be got by just sitting watching carbon tax credits increase in value for no work while selling off vast areas of forest, then all that has been gained by them will be lost. – and it will no fault but their own.

  • Todd

    We all knew it would happen and despite the hypocritical talk about spiritual significance their intention was to financially gain. I am more interested in how long it will be till they realise they can earn more money from a nuclear powerplant and start protesting that it’s their right.

  • yep. this was the big issue that should have been headlining all news and media yesterday.

    the silence was deafening.

  • AnonWgtn

    Once the course is finished they will nave a Hikoi like Raglan to claim it back.

    • patriot

      Hopefully another Kauri Cliffs type golf course results — rather than a Raglan Golf course type ( now a Gorse Course ? )

      There are 2 versions of the treaty — in disagreement with each other . .. plus the signatories went to war against each other, 20 years after the signing — thats a dead Treaty !!

  • ron

    LOL and in a generation or 2 when the increasing populace of descendants are running out of places to grow dope and go hunting they will say it was always their land, anything else is just plain racist – some clever lawyer will find some ambiguity in the paperwork and the Hikois will start and the government will give it back or throw some more money at it to appease the situation.

  • kevin

    No problem… just let the next generation claim it back. The yank is brave indeed getting involved in this deal. Must be someone elses money?

  • Goldie

    Jimmie – IIRC, this land was handed over by the Government to Graham Latimer/Te Uri o Hau without any Tribunal investigation.
    I am sure that the fishy smell must be my lunch…

  • Collapsed Maul

    Once the motorway is pushed north to Warkworth & Wellsford (construction starts in 2014) the land will be worth 5 times what they got for it

  • out2lunch

    What the buyer doesn’t know is that lurking beneath the 18th hole is a Taniwha. Woe is the day that you get a hole in one, you could wake up the koha generating monster.

  • Pokerface

    Yes, I agree with all the previous posts.
    But where is John Hatfield?? Is he resting at Her Majesties Pleasure? Or has he lost the power of speech?
    The silence is deafening.

  • pukakidon

    These guys are smart, they have worked it out that you can sell land time and time again. Just go to the UN and say they were duped and the land rightfully belongs to the indigenous people. The circle begins again.