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Home arrow Articles by Topic arrow LandCo Proposal arrow Fears mount over prospect of Northland sandspit development
Fears mount over prospect of Northland sandspit development PDF Print
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Articles - LandCo Proposal
Written by Radio New Zealand   
Friday, 01 September 2006

Fears are mounting in a Northland community over the fate of an unspoiled sandspit, as developers court local Maori for road access.

Coastal developer Landco owns the Ngunguru spit and recently bought an adjoining headland.

Surveyors have begun work on the spit after the tangata whenua, Te Waiariki, allowed Landco to repair a road on their land, which is the only vehicle access.

The Ngunguru sandspit was the scene of a large protest last year to save it as a regional park. Until now, Maori have blocked access to would-be developers.

Landco says its plans for the spit include large reserves and will reflect its sensitive ecology.

However, Northland marine ecologist Wade Doak says such undeveloped, wild areas are precious and he has concerns about the spit being in the hands of developers.

No promises

The hapu that has allowed developers access to the sandspit, says it has promised them nothing.

Ms Sade says a letter from Landco to a Te Waiariki elder offering a grant for a meeting house is irrelevant, because the offer was not made to Te Waiariki shareholders as a group.

Te Waiariki's spokesperson Violet Sade says allowing access does not mean the hapu will approve Landco's plans. She says Te Waiariki will deal with the developer's proposals on their merits.

Ms Sade says a letter from Landco to a Te Waiariki elder offering a grant for a meeting house is irrelevant, because the offer was not made to Te Waiariki shareholders as a group.

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