In the intervening period, local hapu became aware of the sale. This is what happened:
A letter was sent after the decision to Ngai Tamarawaho advising of the council's decision to revoke the reserve status and sell to Plunket...So, in short, the council was unable to act constitutionally and after a vote had taken place, because it needed consent of Maori first.
An objection was received on February 15.
Hapu spokesman Buddy Mikaere said in the objection that Ngai Tamarawaho had lost most of its land following the confiscations of the 1860s...
Mr Mikaere told councillors that revoking the reserve status needed the hapu's consent. "This is something we only learned about recently."
The council then met again, and reversed its decision.
On a national scale, the government is attempting to reform the RMA. Last week, the Gnats struck a deal with the Maori Party on the changes, which include "Iwi participation agreements". Act and United Future parties tried to stop this. You can read about that here.
If you're wondering what these Iwi participation agreements are, they are nicely summarised by Hobson's Pledge here. In short, within 30 days of local body election, local bodies are required to invite iwi into participation agreements which will "virtually entrench co-governance and partnership obligations with some Maori into local government, creating an under-the-radar constitutional change" (emphasis added).
What happened in Tauranga is soon to be replicated on a national scale. The question is: Will there be a party at this year's election returned in sufficient numbers to put an end to this racist, apartheid crap?