I grew up in Mangere, the home of David Tua, Joseph Parker, Mark Hunt, Valerie Adams and many more amazing athletes. It is a unique place, and if your from there then you know what I'm talking about. Mangere had a bad reputation growing up. When police would stop us skating around Auckland they would ask where we were from. We would always say Manukau because we knew if we said Mangere we would be harassed by the cops.
Mangere is known as 275, or Twosevenfive because of the phone number codes. My grandfather brought a home on Massey Road in the late 50s when it was just farm land. In the distance you can see Mangere Maunga which is an reminance of one of Aucklands Volcanos.
The Auckland Airport is in Mangere and close to a little place the locals call Ishy or Ihumātao. Many years ago Ishy was a place where wastewater lagoons use to be. Tgis is where i worked and grew a passion for water treatment and the enviroment. A majority of Aucklands wastewater was treated here that covered many hectares of water frontage. The value of the land around this area was not much at all. In 2002 the new treatment plant was commissioned which improved the process and involved opening up the ocean to the area.
The odour was almost eliminated and fish started to return to the Manukau Harbour. Now in the summer Puketutu Island is a good spot to catch Snapper on the incoming tide. Flounder can be caught when the wind is right and mullet is an all year round fish to catch. This is where I love to use soft baits to catch fresh Kahawai.
This place is such beauty! And it's no wonder Fletcher wanted to purchase the land. Fletcher is not at fault here and let me explain why. Fletcher are builders and land developers who have one goal in mind. They build quality housing and homes. They were fortunate enough to be able to purchase this land. I have also seen the document which shows the judge who approved the purchase to her husband who owns Fletcher Blah blah blah. They are a business and they are driven to build where there is demand and growth.
I think the problem for me is how the land was stolen many years ago from the owners who did not want to fight the European Queens war. It was not forgotten for generations. Each decendant passed on all that hurt to the next generation.
Ihumātao is going to cause so much issues for the Government because the evidence of the land being stolen blatantly is written for all to see. This will show the flaw in the Governments land claims process because a majority of NZ land is stolen land like Ihumātao.
If it is ruled that Ihumātao is in deed stolen land then more and more of these types of stories will come to light. The more that come foward the more they will need to return the land to the rightful owners.
Was Auckland City Council oppotunists when the plant upgrade in the early 2000s occurred? Maybe they had back door deals way before Fletcher brought the land. Imagine the rates 480 homes would generate. Imagine if 480 homes were built at Ihumātao how easy it would be to build another 480 homes and another 480 homes. This land could be it's own suburb of it's own in this quiet little area. It's 5 mins from the Airport, 2 mins to get onto the motorway to go out west.
Ihumātao is the perfect spot for developing but I didn't think they would of thought that they would get nation wide support like they have. They have gained the support of all of Maoridom because we all have a sense of understanding and empathy. If I was told my Grandfathers land has been taken away from us and there is nothing I can do about it. I think it would create anger and frustration and cause not only me to have resentment but all my descendants and generations to come.
My hope is that the right thing is done! The land to be returned to the rightful owners.