The Mounting Crisis at Ihumaatao

A High Cost Special Housing Area or a Cultural Heritage Landscape for Future Generations?


  • Tim McCreanor
  • Frances Hancock
  • Nicola Short



Ihumātao, Ihumaatao, housing, colonisation, Aotearoa New Zealand


A recent Environment Court decision adds to more than 150 years of Court, Crown, and Council decision-making that alienates mana whenua from land they occupied for centuries and now puts Ihumaatao, a rare cultural heritage landscape near Auckland International Airport, at risk of permanent destruction. This latest Court decision gives transnational corporation Fletcher Building Limited, the current ‘landowners’, the green light to progress its inappropriately sited, low-density, high-cost housing development at Ihumaatao. Fletcher plans to build 480 dwellings on 32 hectares, using the fast-track, developer-friendly provisions of the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Act 2013 (HASHA Act) to sideline mana whenua and community interests, as well as diminishing protections for our cultural and natural heritage.



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