Northland Locals Fight For Their Rights At Te Arai Beach
New Zealand First is concerned locals near Te Arai Beach, Northland, are not being consulted as an exclusive coastal development progresses.
“Residents recently submitted a 6,100 signature petition to Auckland Council’s Regulatory Committee in a last ditch effort to be heard but feel it has been swept aside,” says New Zealand First List MP based in Rodney Tracey Martin.
“Overlooking petitions from concerned New Zealanders seems to becoming the norm of authorities and the National government.
“The Te Arai community had a huge battle over the beach car park, after consent was approved to move it back from the sea and behind the new multimillion dollar houses.
“There was a win on that front with the retention of the sea front car park and the addition of an overflow car park. However, it is our understanding that the developers then lobbied former Minister of Finance, now Prime Minister Bill English, to waive public consultation outlined in the Crown Forest Assets Act 1989 over amendments to the width of a public access easement.
New Zealand First Leader and Member of Parliament for Northland, Rt Hon Winston Peters says: “On February 7th Minister of Finance Steven Joyce signed off a change to the beach access road without even discussing it with the community. He claimed in Parliament today that it would enhance their access, but that is not the community’s view.
“He typically took the stance that he need not consult.
“Mr Joyce said in his answers that ‘it is important to remember that this is iwi-owned land’. He neglected to mention that the iwi, seriously financially challenged, have had to partner with US billionaire Ric Kayne’s company Te Arai North Ltd, to get a return on their money or lose it.
“Why do Kiwis, going about their lives as best they can, have to fight every step of the way to preserve what is their right against a billionaire developer from another country, and a complicit government?,” says Mr Peters.