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Point England Reserve housing bill passed

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 27/06/2017

After another rowdy debate parliament has passed the legislation that allows Auckland's Point England Reserve to be developed for housing.

The bill passed its third reading 62-43 on Tuesday night, strongly opposed by Labour.

It gives local iwi Ngati Paoa the right to develop 14ha of the reserve for 300 houses and a marae as part of a treaty settlement.

Building and Construction Minister Nick Smith said the land had been used for grazing cows for the last 40 years.

"Auckland's housing problem is fundamentally a shortage of land," he said.

"This means 300 homes just 10km from the city centre. Labour's opposition to it is truly pathetic."

Labour's housing spokesman, Phil Twyford, said the government was carving up a precious piece of waterfront parkland.

"It is confiscating this land, it is a city park," he said.

"Nick Smith is obsessed with 28 cows that have been grazing on it."

Dr Smith later told reporters the reserve covered 18ha and the remaining four hectares would be upgraded with new recreational facilities and a new drainage system.

"The stream that runs through it is one of the most polluted in Auckland," he said.

"The government is working with the council to clean it up."

Dr Smith said the cows would be served with an eviction notice and would have to be gone within a year.

National, the Maori Party, ACT and United Future supported the bill.

Labour and NZ First opposed it. The Greens abstained.

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