The Granville Flats were built in the 1960s on land that is owned by the Wellington Tenths Trust. The Council has been leasing the land through perpetual lease from the Trust, and owns the buildings.
The Council supports the Trust’s desire to end the lease, which was confirmed by the Trust’s board on 26 May 2022. Council officers have been working with the Trust over the last few months to finalise details. The Council will dismantle and remove the buildings, clearing the site before it is returned to the Trust.
The Chairman of the Wellington Tenths Trust, Anaru Smiler said: “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…”.
Mayor Andy Foster says: “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.
“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.”
City Housing tenancy advisors have been working closely with all Granville residents today (Wednesday 8 June) to explain the decision and the next steps. City Housing staff will work with residents to complete a thorough needs assessment to understand what residents need and want from their future home.
All tenants will be rehoused in alternative Council homes by December 2023, with the Council covering tenants’ moving costs.
About the Wellington Tenths Trust
The Wellington Tenths Trust is an Ahu Whenua trust constituted by the Māori Land Court. The Trust was established to administer its Māori Reserve lands, largely in urban Wellington, although it also administers a rural block in Kaitoke, Upper Hutt.
The Trust owns a total of 81 hectares of land. The beneficial owners of the reserves are descendants of hapu of Te Ātiawa, Ngāti Tama, Taranaki, and Ngāti Ruanui tupuna who were living within the rohe in 1839. There are currently 7,116 registered beneficial owners and many other whānau through those beneficial owners.