Endangered dotterels face eviction with new housing development

Auckland needs new houses but endangered birds need homes too, and that's the dilemma for an area in east Auckland.

Local iwi Ngati Paoa is buying around a quarter of Pt England reserve as part of Treaty of Waitangi redress and plans to start building at the end of the year.

But eight New Zealand dotterels nest in the area and they're going to be evicted by the development.

The development includes plans for high-intensity housing and two hectares has been set aside for a marae.

The land first needs to be reclassified so building can take place and the Pt England Development Enabling Bill aims to do just that.

A petition against the Bill is being put forward by local conservationist Shaun Lee, who says the development covers 50 percent of the dotterels' nesting site.

"And the houses will also introduce a tonne of cats... maybe 500 into the nesting ground," he says.

"So it's not looking good for the birds at all."

Other residents are worried about the loss of green space, recreational areas and the flow-on effects construction could have on the Tamaki Estuary.

Building and Construction Minister Nick Smith says the housing priority in Auckland is for families over dotterels.

The Department of Conservation wasn't available for comment on Wednesday, but Ngati Paoa is hoping to work with Mr Lee to find the dotterels a new nesting place.

Those wanting to have their say on the Bill have until the end of the month.