Wellington Scoop

Mayor helps protestors at start of occupation of development land at Shelly Bay

andy and tent 1

Mayor Andy Foster yesterday joined a mau whenua group as it began an occupation of development land at Shelly Bay.

An announcement on Facebook said: “Mau Whenua announced today they are occupying Shelly Bay. Please go and show them your support. Anyone who wants to camp out with them are welcome. Alternatively you can offer them food, water, items to keep them warm or just sit with them to keep them company.”

andy and tent 2

The Facebook page published photographs of Mayor Foster helping to erect one of the tents to be used by the occupiers.

“That time when the Mayor turned up in his suit to help us put up the tent! Settling in for the long haul whanau – nau mai haere mai ki Marukaikuru, Shelly Bay. There’s space for everyone.”

But Georgina Campbell reports in the NZ Herald that the mayor Andy Foster says he wasn’t pitching tents with the protesters, but rather being a “good camper” and helping to fix a broken pole.

In a comment on the protestors’ Facebook page, the mayor wrote:

I’ve opposed this development at Shelly Bay from the beginning in 2015. The Special Housing Area anti-democratically stopped the community having a real say. The District Plan which has a special set of planning rules and heights, carefully crafted through the Environment Court, got essentially ignored. I remain concerned about safety on Shelly Bay Road for the thousands of people enjoying walking and biking. I’ve also read and heard at length about the sale of iwi owned land in defiance of specific resolutions passed at the 2016 PNBST AGM. I had the privilege of being at the handover from Defence in 2009 to Taranaki Whanui. It was a special occasion full of hope for this special place. For me the right thing to do has always been to step back and allow stakeholders to talk things through and have a real say in the future of this iconic piece of land.

RNZ’s Eva Corlett sent a report to Checkpoint from the Shelly Bay occupation site.

November 11: City Council confirms sale of its land for Shelly Bay development


  1. Thomas Coughlan, 23. November 2020, 10:03

    From NZ First candidate in 2017 General Election to putting up tents at Shelly Bay land occupation in 2020, Andy Foster has been on an [unexpected] political journey. [via twitter]

  2. Claire, 23. November 2020, 10:12

    I guess Andy Foster doesn’t believe in housing at any cost. Let’s hope that bodes well for the DSP and District Plan in the future. Yes build houses and apartments in appropriate places. Shelly Bay was never appropriate for all sorts of reasons.

  3. Shacklock Oven, 23. November 2020, 10:42

    Kia Kaha Andy. Standing up for what he believes in and what the Wellington public thought they were getting.

  4. D'Esterre, 23. November 2020, 14:36

    Shacklock Oven: “….what the Wellington public thought they were getting.” Having read many comments on this site and elsewhere, I’m not sure that the Wellington public actually understood the situation at Shelly Bay. The project has a resource consent: it was granted by an independent panel in November last year. As I understand the legalities, the Council has no power to “call in” that consent. This means that the developer can proceed. What I expected of the current Council was that it would vote against the sale/lease of ratepayer-owned land there. But even had it done this, the development could still proceed, albeit with an amended consent. Unless the judicial review of the consent were to find in favour of the plaintiffs.

    At the very least, I expected the Council to stand aside from any decision until the outcome of the court cases is known.

    I’m not sure that the Mayor ought to be at Shelly Bay. It seems he’s nailed his colours to the occupiers’ mast, and that may be unwise. From what I’ve seen, that occupation is about the larger issue of Maori-owned land having been sold, against the wishes of many in the iwi. The Council has no rôle in that problem. We need a Mayor who can tread a neutral path: not an activist for a cause which doesn’t involve the Council.

  5. johnny overton, 23. November 2020, 15:22

    Good to see the comrades digging in for the long haul. Crown & council land is common land, it belongs to all of us. We (somewhat foolishly in this day & age) entrust its stewardship to our elected officials. They should wisely utilise it in a way that best benefits all NZ citizens. It should never be privatised!! Occasionally leased, maybe, if things stack up well for all involved? This is why i opposed plans to plans to sell off the former Mt Crawford prison property to iwi, or anyone else. The government & WCC need to finally pull finger & sort out the complex land ownership issues on Miramar peninsula in a way that will be of benefit for all Wellingtonians.

  6. TrevorH, 23. November 2020, 16:15

    I’m opposed to the development as it stands but I’m not sure this is the right thing for a person in the Mayor’s position to do. Legal avenues are still to be worked through and the Mayor should not do anything that may jeopardise his own or the Council’s standing in the matter.

  7. Michael Gibson, 23. November 2020, 16:52

    I think that Minister Nanaia Mahuta should take an interest in what is going on. I have asked her to do so.

  8. Smeg Sticker, 23. November 2020, 17:42

    The more this irritates the councillors who continually disagree with the mayor, then the more I’m for it.

  9. Benoit Pette, 23. November 2020, 17:46

    “City councillors have labelled Wellington Mayor Andy Foster’s appearance at a Shelly Bay (…) undemocratic.” Undemocratic? Disrespectful? Oh the irony! The guy was elected on opposing SB and so were four councillors who in the end voted for it. [via twitter]

  10. Steph Edlin, 23. November 2020, 22:33

    “City councillors have labelled Wellington mayor Andy Foster’s appearance at a Shelly Bay occupation ‘astonishing’, ‘disrespectful’ and ‘undemocratic’.” – Huh. Same words I’d use to describe councillors who went against campaign promises and voted for the development at Shelly Bay. [via twitter]

  11. D'Esterre, 24. November 2020, 7:40

    Steph Edlin: “Same words I’d use to describe councillors who went against campaign promises….”

    Yup. As would I.

  12. RG, 24. November 2020, 10:33

    “Same words I’d use to describe councillors who went against campaign promises….” Yep. Me too. Very very disappointed in those councillors.