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Secrecy over wahi tapu unfortunate

Secrecy over wahi tapu unfortunate

The suggestion that a local authority has entered into a secrecy agreement with local Maori consultants is disturbing, says the Local Government Forum.

Forum Chairman Simon Carlaw says the Manukau City Council's decision not to show wahi tapu sites on its official LIM reports (Land Information Memoranda) means huge uncertainty for property buyers in that region.

"Any wahi tapu claim that can be sustained has no need to be hidden from view by anyone.

"To be prevented from finding out whether your property is a site of significance to local Maori - when that significance could cost thousands of dollars or stop you building on the property - is a nonsense," Mr Carlaw said.

"The fact that the information exists yet is being withheld surely breaches good faith.

"The Local Government Forum wants to see best practice by the country's local authorities. Secrecy agreements that may prevent development or load unknowable costs on property owners are far from best practice."

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