Taranaki township moves forward
Taranaki township moves forward after historic Waitara Lands Bill passed
The NPDC Waitara Lands Bill has been passed by Parliament, bringing a fresh start to the town after three decades of negotiations over its leasehold land. The Bill will unlock $90 million from the sale of 770 leasehold properties.
New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom, who attended the reading of the Bill in parliament yesterday evening, welcomed the move.
“At this historic time, it’s important to acknowledge the pain and hurt caused by the confiscation of land from Te Atiawa and its hapū in the 1860s. Thank you to hapū leaders who have worked tirelessly for their people over many years. This Bill isn’t perfect but it’s the best solution while ensuring we meet our financial obligations to all of our 80,000 residents and balance competing priorities. This co-governance model between NPDC, hapū, Iwi and the TRC, will mean there is investment in community projects and the Waitara River, to benefit the whole community.”
Fast facts Property • The Bill enables leaseholders to purchase freehold their leased properties at market value.
• There are 770 Waitara properties valued at $90 million.
• From the sale of these properties over the next 20 years, it is expected about $28 million over the same period will assist the two hapū to purchase, manage or develop land in Waitara.
• Approximately $28 million will go to Waitara projects, co-governed by the hapū and NPDC, also over a 20-year period.
• Approximately $34 million will be allocated to Waitara River and environment projects. This will be co-governed by the hapū and iwi with interests in the river and the Taranaki Regional Council.
Parks and Reserves • About 120 hectares of land is available to hapū in various ways, mostly as reserves.
• The Bill gifts 44 hectares of land to the hapū: 13 hectares of developed residential land and 31 hectares of reserve land.
• The hapū will gain titles to parks and reserves totalling 13 hectares if they wish to take them.
• The hapū also have the option to purchase five Crown Reserves totalling 26 hectares (Pukekohe Park, parts of Ranfurly Park, James Nuku Reserve, Te Puna Park and Joll St Reserve). These will be co-governed with NPDC and have Reserve status, allowing for continued public access. They include West Quay, Kincade Park, Victoria Park, Tangaroa Reserve, Barclay Park, Pennington Park, East Quay, Memorial Park, Manukorihi Local Purpose Reserve, parts of Ranfurly Park, and Manukorihi Park.
• The Bill allows the hapū an option to purchase another 35 hectares of land in Waitara such as the Waitara Golf Course.