On Monday morning 8th November 2021, news website Stuff reported Motu Kairangi Shelly Bay occupiers were served with an eviction notice from Shelly Bay Taikuru by Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust (PNBST) chief executive Lee Hunter, PNBST chair Holden Hohaia, and development manager Earl Hope-Pearson. The eviction notice apparently stated Shelly Bay Taikuru had exclusive rights to occupy and develop the land. Shelly Bay Taikuru is the joint venture between Ian Cassels’ The Wellington Company and Taranaki Whānui Limited. The eviction notice apparently gives the occupiers until Monday November 15 2021 to leave.
It seems the notice was accompanied by letters calling for the occupiers to move on from:
- Two local marae: Waiwhetu, and Te-Tatau o te Po;
- Māori cultural training organisation Rūnanganui o Te Atiawa ki te Upoko o te Ika a Maui;
- Former occupier Paora Jenkins-Mepham.
Mau Whenua posted on Facebook a video of a kaumātua who belongs to both maraes, who said she and other kaumātua had been unaware of the letters in support of eviction written in their name. The suggestion is those with delegated authority to manage the marae may not be acting in a democratic manner and may not be acting in accordance with Tikanga Māori. If that is the case, the approach taken by marae representatives would mirror the approach taken by Taranaki Whānui Limited managers which led to the land sale. Mau Whenua continues to claim the land sale was illegal under Māori and English law, and was therefore invalid and, in the words of Mau Whenua spokesperson Shamia Makarini, “whenua twice stolen”. Speaking on Radio Waatea, Makarini said: “essentially our own people are working as agents for the developer in supporting the stealing of our whenua. Not just that, but [also] the disenfranchisement of our people.”
According to Makarini, Mau Whenua have no plans to leave Shelly Bay following this eviction notice: “They [the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust chief executive and chair, and Shelly Bay Taikuru] do not represent iwi as far as we are concerned – they don’t have any mandate. […] We don’t recognise what they are saying. We will continue to hold the whenua for all our people.”
It’s worth noting there have been previous trespass notices issued both by the Wellington Company to Mau Whenua, and by Mau Whenua to the Wellington Company, none of which are yet resolved to the knowledge of ISO. Additionally, the Māori Land Court currently has two ongoing cases relating to this issue. This remains a relevant live issue, and it is important we give it ongoing attention in solidarity.
Further information about Mau Whenua, including how you can get involved and provide support, can be found at:
ISO interviewed Shamia Makarini in September, and she provided a lot of background on this issue. The interview can be found at: