Wellington Scoop

Developer’s survey shows 57% support for Shelly Bay development

Press Release – The Wellington Company
More Wellington city residents overall feel that the development at Shelly Bay would be a good thing for the city, according to a ‘mood of the city’ survey conducted to coincide with the two-year mark since the Wellington City Council greenlit the development.

57% of Wellingtonian residents overall were in support while only 24% were against.

Developer Ian Cassels said he engaged independent agency Horizons Research Ltd to take the temperature of the city with regards to the joint Taranaki Whanui-Wellington Company development. The research company conducted a weighted panel survey of Wellingtonians, reflective of the breakdown of the city’s population and demographics.

“We’ve been at this battle for two years now, having faced two court cases, two rounds of resource consent decisions, three council decisions and an unbelievable amount of opposition from the same groups and individuals over and over again,” Cassels said.

“But when all is said and done, does the everyday Wellingtonian think what we are doing is a good idea or not? Once we build the development, will they use it or not?”

Cassels said he was heartened by the responses, describing the survey as the first of many engagements to come with the Wellington public.

“It’s easy to think that just because there is a high profile person opposing the development, or a well-resourced group taking us to court, that that is how the rest of the city feels too.”

“This is a quick snapshot of this point in time, and how people feel right now. Once resource consent is confirmed, there will be more points at which Wellingtonians can start to engage with the development in a detailed manner.”

93% of Wellingtonians said they would be prepared to visit the development, giving Shelly Bay the potential to become a ‘destination’.

Survey respondents were asked what they were most likely to do at Shelly Bay after the development is built. The highest-rated single activity was going to a cafe or restaurant.

Wellingtonians also wanted to partake in outdoor activities available such as fishing (10%), walking (48%), cycling (14%), and using the recreational space (44%).

Cassels said buying property at only 7% was to be expected. ‘It’s never been a secret that all the homes are going to be above the $800,000 mark, so yes, it’s understandable that that is not the first thing people want to do’
According to the survey, Wellingtonians most interested in buying property after the development is built currently live in the affluent Lambton and Southern Wards of the city. Cassels also said that many of his high end properties in places like Erskine College have seen demand from out-of-towners moving to Wellington for its lifestyle factors.

“But, regardless of who buys the properties, we have engaged a scheme with the Wellington City Mission in which roughly $3.5 million from home sales at Shelly Bay will go directly to the city’s most vulnerable so there is definitely a social aspect to that.”

Cassels said much of the public opposition to the development came from the sheer amount of misinformation in the public domain, particularly through social media.

“People seem to think that we are building on public land, or that we are building a hugely intensified development or that the ratepayer is funding the development – all of which is incorrect. It’s a hugely emotive issue and one Wellingtonians will see we are working hard to set the record straight on.”

Cassels said that over the coming weeks, Wellingtonians will be seeing more opportunities to contribute to the detail around Shelly Bay, as well as special features and initiatives for the development to be one that Wellingtonians can be truly proud of.

“There are some exciting new things we have held off announcing, but all I can say is we are hearing what Wellington is saying and we want everyone to watch this space.”

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
Original url


  1. Ian Apperley, 8. October 2019, 11:51

    Release the full set of data and original questions and we might take more notice.

  2. Josh, 8. October 2019, 12:01

    What utter nonsense there is not 57% support for Shelly Bay development. The developers have obviously not disclosed and misrepresented information in the survey,

  3. Mark Shanks, 8. October 2019, 12:16

    It would have been very surprising if Cassels released data that showed the majority opposed Shelly Bay. You can hire consultants to get the result you want. It happens all the time and that’s why we, the paying public, end up with things we don’t want.

  4. Marion Leader, 8. October 2019, 13:02

    How much land has the developer bought from the Maori owners?

  5. Tash Hag, 8. October 2019, 13:41

    I’d say 93% of wellingtonians would already visit Shelly bay in its current state and carry out all the activities mentioned in the survey. What’s more quintessential wellington than a “drive around the bays”.

    Also wasn’t the SHA brought about under the guise of providing affordable housing? To quickly build new stock and bring down prices? Hard to see that applying when all houses are going to be more than $800k

  6. Pseudopanax, 8. October 2019, 16:09

    Having seen what’s happening at Erskine College tells me that we shouldn’t let this developer anywhere near Shelly Bay.

  7. Anaru Mepham, 8. October 2019, 18:53

    The fact is taranaki whanui trustees did not have permission to sell the Maori land at Shelly bay. The PNBST Trustees sold what was not theirs. The Wellington City Council have been complicit in the illegal sale of Maori owned land, in establishing a special housing area, allowing the Wellington Company to proceed without the need for any public disclosure to residents of wellington or the Maori land owners. The issue is about how this process has occurred, at the expense of the 19000 members of Taranaki whanui.

  8. Andrew, 8. October 2019, 19:22

    When do the independent commissioners release their decision? It must be soon.

  9. CC, 8. October 2019, 23:13

    Andrew – the commissioners are selected and engaged by the Council, so ‘independent’ is a questionable term. The disturbing part of the process of direct referral to the Environment Court for consents, that was introduced to streamline consents for developers, is that challenges have been virtually taken out of the hands of potential objectors on financial grounds. In the Site 9 case, the Court will only have heard from the applicant and the Council which brokered the deal. It is hardly surprising that work has already commenced on the site, even though the decision may be months away.

  10. Tamiki L, 9. October 2019, 7:29

    Lawful land ownership is an issue here. The lawful owners would like the land to remain public for recreational use (and it is also a penguin habitat). We do not support the developer as he is now claiming.

  11. John Locke, 9. October 2019, 11:21

    One does suspect that the question is important here. If asked this way: “Would you support the Shelly Bay development knowing that the developer is skirting the district plan, is going to pocket $50M in profit, while the beneficial landowner gets nothing, and the city ratepayer pays at least $10M in support of the development and possibly a lot more”, the answer might be a lot different.

  12. Tim Alexander, 9. October 2019, 12:29

    The Wellington Company is sounding and acting more and more like the New Zealand Company of 1840’s. Perhaps Ian Cassels sees himself as the modern day William Wakefield. An extract from those times:

    Evidence later provided to the Spain Land Commission — set up by the Colonial Office to investigate New Zealand Company land claims — revealed three major flaws: that chiefs representing pā of Te Aro, Pipitea and Kumutoto, where the settlement of Thorndon was to be sited, were neither consulted nor paid; that Te Wharepouri, an aggressive and boastful young chief eager to prove his importance, had sold land he did not control; and that Barrett’s explanation and interpretation of the terms of the sale was woefully inadequate. Barrett told the Commission hearing in February 1843: “I said that when they signed their names the gentlemen in England who had sent out the trade might know who were the chiefs.” Historian Angela Caughey also claimed it was extremely unlikely that Wakefield and Barrett could have visited all the villages at Whanganui-a-Tara in one day to explain the company’s intentions and seek approval

    Perhaps the PNBST Trustees were like the young boastful Chief Te Wharepouri who sold land he did not control. The PNBST Trustees and The Wellington Company will know the answer. I’m picking the Council Officers do also.

  13. Concerned Wellingtonian, 9. October 2019, 15:49

    Andrew, they are waiting until people have voted.
    Never let it be said that politics don’t come into it!

  14. Kaha Manukonga, 9. October 2019, 20:10

    This land was given to Taranaki Whanui in redress for breaking the statutes of law made with our ancestors which resulted in our being landless. We voted NEVER to sell it. WCC, our placemen “trustees” Mulligan, Baker etc. and the developer colluded against the law to sell it for a pittance to the developer who is paying to spin this propaganda to help develop it against the will of the landowners by recruiting “useful idiots”, while Marae, TVNZ/MSM suppress OUR side of the story. This was an illegal “sale” – we still own the land forever – leave it and us alone – it is OURS. Whatungarongaro te tangata toi tu whenua.

  15. Polly, 9. October 2019, 20:50

    As an old Lyall Bay/Rongotai girl so many wonderful memories of walking round the peninsula to meet friends at Worser Bay and then driving my 3 children to Scorching Bay to have fun swimming and the café! And of course Massey Memorial was always on the route…
    Leave Shelly Bay alone

  16. Richie Rich, 10. October 2019, 0:05

    Isn’t that interesting, to have so much support in a survey but none in the comments. Seeing as this is now a public survey used to persuade/influence public opinion, surely under the freedom of information act the details of this survey would now be able to be obtained?
    When this boils itself down, the fact that a major transaction got a 51% vote and not the 75% it needed be will a point in law that this just will not be able to pass through.
    To the Taranaki Whanui, you have Wellington behind you. You need to vote out the members who do not represent you. Move onto this land and take back what is yours. You cannot be evicted from land you own!

  17. Kara Lipski, 10. October 2019, 8:59

    In a recent weekend version of the DomPost there was a full page black print on yellow “presenting the facts” about Shelly Bay. But there was no authorship shown. Given the colours used I have my suspicions as to the owner of that advertorial but it doesn’t change my mind. Intensive development at Shelly Bay needs a major rethink.

  18. Sluice gate, 10. October 2019, 9:27

    Kara – they’ve also taken to using targeted Facebook ads similar to the way political parties have. The same “facts” popped up unwanted in my Facebook feed last night. Smells of desperation.

  19. Andrew, 10. October 2019, 9:39

    Shelly Bay – The Real Deal. It appeared on my FB as well. I reported it as false news…

  20. Tom Andersen, 10. October 2019, 17:14

    Get on with it – we need intensive housing of all types that doesn’t spread into more farmland.

  21. Sue, 11. October 2019, 9:34

    Tom, I guess you don’t understand the full implications of what is proposed, maybe you have $1ml to pay for an affordable house?, or are a ratepayer when the property is under water in 30 odd years time and residents decide to take a class action against the council for issuing the resource consent, just remember council are funded by us ratepayers, so as a ratepayer I am not interested in paying twice…

  22. Andy Foster, 11. October 2019, 14:09

    Lots of good points made here. I have asked for the survey – obviously the information and pictures shown, and the information held back, will potentially influence the response, so I am sure we will all be most interested to see it.

    CC – the Commissioners are independent (they do have to be paid by somebody). The problem is that they are assessing the application under HASHAA which partially overrides the District Plan and prevents any public participation in the consent process. Thinking of it as a World Cup Rugby match – only one side (the applicant) is allowed to take the field. For a site with the kind of special values that Shelly Bay has Council should never have made it a ‘Special Housing Area’.

    The direct referral to the Environment Court is a different process altogether and submissions are allowed for. Generally those applications where direct referral is sought and allowed are those where there is a very high chance of appeal – so it is saving time and money by having one hearing, rather than a Council hearing and then an Environment Court hearing.

    Finally Sue – I think you are right. When Council debated the sale and lease of its (your) land in Sept 2017 Iona Pannett and I sought varying protections (notations on the titles) preventing future owners from coming back to a future Council (ratepayers) and seeking compensation if their properties are impacted by rising seas. The majority of councillors didn’t want to do that.

    I’ll come back to the full page advert in a moment.
    Kind regards, Andy

  23. Andy Foster, 11. October 2019, 14:33

    The full page unattributed advert in last week’s paper seeking to ‘set the record straight’ and provide the ‘facts’ about Shelly Bay was full of at best questionable and selective assertions.

    ‘Fact 1’ – there will be 50% more usable communal and green space. Hard to reconcile that with their own pictures. I think we’d all find the calculation behind that assertion interesting.

    ‘Fact 2’ discusses the ‘strict design guidelines’ – well we haven’t seen the consent yet, and neither will they have seen it. Worth noting that the proposal as it was had design decisions being made by a panel of 3 – one each appointed by Council and the applicant and one jointly.

    ‘Fact 3’ attacks the ‘fiction’ that Shelly Bay’s road width will be reduced. I am unaware that anyone has said this. The advert ignores the critical issue that has been raised by so many of us – that is the predicted (applicant’s own numbers) growth in traffic volumes (by up to 500%) on what is a really popular walking and biking route. A 1-1.5m footpath will not provide a safe environment for people on bikes. We have expert traffic evidence saying exactly that. It is just that the Commissioners don’t get to see that evidence.

    ‘Fact 4’ says that the ‘large majority’ of the buildings are low rise, which is numerically true – but again this is not the point – the proposed development is dominated by walls of tall apartment buildings at the rear of both bays. The vast majority of proposed dwellings are in those c 18 towers which stand shoulder to shoulder right across the back of both bays.

    ‘Fact 5’ says iwi support the sale. Well we know there are two legal actions being taken, and we also know the vote to sell all the iwi land failed by a significant margin, and the following AGM resolved to instruct trustees not to sell. Some of the comments in these threads reinforce this.

    My repeated request to the developers is to stop this process, whether or not consent is granted, and engage with iwi and the wider community to master plan the whole of the northern Miramar peninsula including Shelly Bay. It is so important to properly consider the significant scenic, heritage and recreational values that are on those sites. I am sure there is capacity for development – but it needs to be more sensitive, of a more appropriate scale, and not so far removed from what the planning rules (which were the result of extensive public engagement) permit.

    Kind regards, Andy

  24. Tom Andersen, 12. October 2019, 17:40

    Sue – I do understand very well the issues – I just don’t agree with your analysis. I am also a ratepayer – and I support intensive development of non-farmland non-greenbelt sites. However, if we are are allowed to have a wider debate about actually controlling human population growth, then all of this will be unnecessary.