Thursday, July 7, 2022

Wellington Council to return Granville Flats land to local trust

Wellington City Council and the Wellington Tenths Trust have reached an agreement which will see the Council end its lease of land currently occupied by the Granville Flats by mid-2024.

The Granville Flats were built in the 1960s on land owned by the Wellington Tenths Trust. The Council has been leasing the land through perpetual lease from the Trust, and owns the buildings.

Wellington Mayor, Andy Foster said the Council supports the Trust’s desire to end the lease, which was confirmed by the Trust’s board on 26 May.

“We support the Trust in their wish to bring the lease to an end. This is in line with our new Tūpiki Ora Māori Strategy, approved in May, which explicitly supports a Māori-led response to uplifting the state of wellbeing of whānau, anchored in the whakapapa relationships between people, place and nature,” he said.

“It comes at a time when decisions would have to have been made regarding the upgrade of Granville Flats which would have required significant Council investment, including seismic strengthening. Doing nothing was never an option.”

Council will dismantle and remove the buildings and clear the site before it’s returned to the Trust.

“This is an historical moment for the Trust and its owners. The land is part of the original tenths land blocks dating back to the 1839 deed of purchase with the New Zealand Company. Having full control of our whenua means we can provide better opportunities for our people. It is a momentous occasion,” said Chairman of the Wellington Tenths Trust, Anaru Smiler.

City Housing tenancy advisors have been working with Granville residents to explain the decision and the next steps.

All tenants will be rehoused in alternative Council homes by December 2023, with the Council covering tenants’ moving costs, Council said in a statement.

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