Our plans for the Kellet Street site were first presented to the community back in 2015 at a meeting of the local community group, Love Opua, at which Community Board members were present.
In March 2018 we spoke about it again, at another community meeting.
In May 2018 we issued a news release in which we informed the community about plans to apply for Consent, and invited community feedback. None was received.
The news release was covered by local media and posted by us to the local Opua community group on Facebook, where it was discussed extensively and at length.
The company again presented its plans to the local community at a Love Opua meeting on 26 March 2019.
You will see from all this that the company’s plans for this land were extensively publicised within the community, and discussed by the community, over a period of many years.
As for the development itself, it falls within the Residential Zone of the District Plan. It is much lower density than permissible and will provide new accommodation options for people who want to live and work in Opua, supporting growth of local businesses and the local economy.
The Consented plan is for 17 house sites. We could have sought a higher, apartment-style development but we did not feel it was in keeping with Opua. Instead, the plans are for a low-density residential scheme in line with the approved District plan, within an established residential area.
Land use cannot be in question here. The land has previously been developed for housing. The titles for this land are just like those of the adjoining school or any of the other Opua residential titles – general title with no claim attached. The sale of Far North Holdings’ land on Kellet Street in Opua was done legally.
We are aware that objectors to this development are alleging that the land is subject to the Waitangi Tribunal Treaty Claims process. The most recent WAI 49 claims made by Sir James Henare in the matter of Section 6 of the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975. The company acknowledges and respects the claims made by Sir James Henare in relation to foreshore and seabed but these are matters for the Crown to address.
As things stand now, Far North Holdings is neither the owner of this land, nor the developer. The company is now merely the project manager for the infrastructure.