Sharechat Logo

Port Nicholson Trust votes down Shelly Bay sale, citing SFO probe

Friday 12th February 2016

Text too small?

The Wellington Maori tribal investment vehicle, the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust, will not back a proposal to sell the old Shelley Bay defence base to local property developer Ian Cassells, following the failure by the trustees to convince a minimum 75 percent of voting members to back the deal.

The trust is subject to a Serious Fraud Office probe, the details of which are suppressed.

The trust represents Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika members, who gained the Shelley Bay site as part of a Treaty of Waitangi settlement, which covers both the dilapidated former naval base and surrounding farmland, a west-facing site on Wellington's harbour edge, close to the airport and the central business district.

The vote fell below the 75 percent support level needed for a mandate to sell the land to high-profile Cassells, although a bare majority of 51 percent was achieved for the proposal. Approval would have enabled Cassells to develop the site as a special housing area, with accelerated resource consents which would have allowed him to double the number of houses proposed for the area to 300, and include a wharf for a ferry service to the CBD.

Trust chairman Neville Baker said the sale funds were needed to enable the trust "to recover from financial difficulties surrounding its beginnings."

“While the Serious Fraud Office is still finishing its investigations and responding to its findings and suppression orders remain in place around the matter, it has been extremely difficult to demonstrate with complete transparency the need for the sale of Shelly Bay,” Baker said.

Baker said the timing of the SFO case was still to be resolved in the High Court, which "has been unfortunate in respect of the vote."

The trust expects a ruling by the end of April this year. "The High Court may be able to complete its work and the board will be able to share that with members," it said.

The land was owned by the New Zealand Defence Force for a century before being sold in 2008 to the Port Nicholson Trust for $16 million as part of a Treaty of Waitangi settlement.

BusinessDesk.co.nz

  General Finance Advertising    

Comments from our readers

No comments yet

Add your comment:
Your name:
Your email:
Not displayed to the public
Comment:
Comments to Sharechat go through an approval process. Comments which are defamatory, abusive or in some way deemed inappropriate will not be approved. It is allowable to use some form of non-de-plume for your name, however we recommend real email addresses are used. Comments from free email addresses such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc may not be approved.

Related News:

Deposit protection reduces case for RBNZ's bank capital increases, Robertson hints
NZ dollar higher after Lowe comments viewed as less dovish
Govt to introduce deposit insurance; RBNZ keeps prudential supervision
Granular approach needed for cost-effective emissions reduction
Bank executive incentives a key focus for regulators
Appeal Court puts ANZ back in the gun over interest rate swaps
Meridian to supply Australian online retailer Kogan.com
RBNZ seen keeping rates on hold but signalling more cuts to come
RBNZ demands assurance ANZ New Zealand is operating prudently
Citic gets seat at Tourism Holdings in $80 mln capital raising

IRG See IRG research reports