Devonport residents 'bunch of greedy mongrels' - Willie Jackson

Devonport residents ‘bunch of greedy mongrels’ – Willie Jackson

(By Rod Vaughan) Outspoken Maori talkback host Willie Jackson has slammed Devonport residents trying to stop a prime piece of waterfront land falling back into Maori ownership as “ a bunch of greedy mongrels”.

“How dare those Maoris want their land back. Devonport’s all in an outrage but they are not arguing to be compensated for the whole loss of everything that was taken from them,” Mr Jackson ranted on his Radio Live show.

“So why don’t you Devonport dipsticks over there get that through your thick heads over there.

“I’m trying to say that as nicely as I can that the Maoris are being very generous, we’re being generous to you.”

Devonport-Takapuna local board chairman Chris Darby, described Mr Jackson’s outburst as “uninformed and laced with bitterness”.

The $30 million block of land, which is used by the New Zealand Navy as an officer training school, is being sold back to Ngati Whatua for $13.8 million.

But Mr Darby and Auckland mayor Len Brown say they were never properly consulted.

Under the deed of settlement Ngati Whatua Orakei will buy the site and lease it back to the Defence Force for 15 years, which can be extended to 150 years.

But there are no restrictions on its use if the military decides it does not want to continue the lease in 10 years’ time.

Mr Darby says he has been a long-time supporter of Ngati Whatua, having stood alongside the tribe during its occupation of Bastion Point and been arrested twice.

“From the very outset I have acknowledged Ngati Whatua grievances and supported what they were trying to achieve.

“It is not them that I am critical of now but the Crown and the secretive way in which its handled this matter.”

He says Auckland Council and the local community were not told of a “secret” meeting between a government conservation official and the Hauraki Gulf Forum seven months before the 3.2ha block of land was included in the Treaty settlement.

Locals are especially concerned the land will lose its marine park designation when it is sold to Maori and not remain as a future public recreation reserve.

Mr Darby also contends that it was never owned by Ngati Whatua but by Hauraki tribes, who sold it to a private individual who then sold it to the Crown for 17,000 pounds in 1886.

“I think the best solution is for the Crown to look for another parcel of land of equal or better value to give to Ngati Whatua.

“After all, this is only one parcel of land in 232 that are part of the settlement package,” he said.

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