By Harry Lock of RNZ
Prime Wellington land earmarked for substantial development is being described by some iwi as too sacred for housing.
Government officials are working with a Māori settlement trust to develop the site of the old prison at Mt Crawford, on Miramar Peninsula.
The 1920s prison, with views over the entire harbour, is currently sitting dilapidated, empty and closed.
Plans are to build a 300-house development, which would include demolishing the prison, and replacing it with housing. The entire section, however, would cover much further than just the current prison boundaries.
The development would be done as a partnership between Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust (PNBST) – which manages land owned by Taranaki Whānui – and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
But some members of Taranaki Whānui do not believe the land should be used for housing.
“The whenua – that land up there