WHO WE ARE
Mau Whenua is a collective of Taranaki Whānui iwi members who made their opposition to proposed sale of iwi land at Shelly Bay known in late 2015 and early 2016. The land at Shelly Bay is highly significant and represents over 50% of the value of Taranaki Whānui Treaty Settlement assets in Wellington. The term Mau Whenua describes those who oppose land sales, and are determined to hold onto land and engage in environmentally and socially constructive development.
WHAT WE DO
Over several years, Mau Whenua continued to question and resist the increasing numbers of land sales by Trustees of the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust. The Mau Whenua collective was joined by a range of supporters, including those who objected to the proposed Wellington Company development at Shelly Bay, and the questionable role of Wellington City Council in facilitating this development.
Members of Taranaki Whānui voted twice in 2016 against the proposed land sales and development at Shelly Bay. Iwi members were assured that the land sales would not proceed. However, in 2018 and 2019, Mau Whenua members learned that Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust had secretly sold iwi land at Shelly Bay to a company owned by Ian Cassels - founder and director of the Wellington Company.
In early 2019 members of the Mau Whenua collective formed an Incorporated society (Mau Whenua Incorporated Society) and launched a range of legal actions designed to:
Have iwi land at Shelly Bay returned to iwi ownership,
Undertake an independent review of the operation of the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust, including investigation of a range of breaches of their legal obligations, and
To halt ongoing land sales occurring without the knowledge or consent of iwi members - the 'beneficial owners' of the land.