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RPL response to QAC Lot 6 Comments

RPL response to QAC Lot 6 Comments

Remarkables Park Ltd (RPL) is taking issue with the Queenstown Airport Corporation (QAC) over what it calls “misleading public relations spin” with regard to QAC’s attempts to take land from RPL.

“QAC’s statements to public forums and to the media are unbalanced,” said RPL director Alastair Porter.

He said both RPL and Air NZ had provided the Environment Court with extensive expert evidence as to why the QAC did not require the RPL land, known as Lot 6. “With respect to that evidence QAC does not acknowledge that its case for taking the land had already significantly failed, as a result of the Environment Court’s interim decision that at least half of the land was not required.”

The Environment Court is now considering whether there is any need for the balance of the land.

Mr Porter said the irony of QAC’s complaints about protracted litigation was that QAC initiated the legal processes, instead of seeking to negotiate a solution.

“QAC is now appealing the Environment Court’s decision to the High Court, which will substantially increase litigation costs for all parties including, indirectly, Queenstown ratepayers.

“It’s further ironic, before they even know outcome of the current Environment Court decisions, that QAC has now also chosen to pursue yet another costly legal process under the Public Works Act relating to the land that is the subject of the High Court appeal.”

Mr Porter said given that QAC wouldn’t negotiate with RPL, it had left RPL with “no option” but to defend its land ownership. “To date we have been successful in doing so,” he said.

“The final irony is that QAC already owns more than adequate land to the north for its expansion, which it gained as part of a ‘good faith’ contractual land exchange with our group in 1998.

“This was completed on the basis that each party would not again oppose the development of the others’ land.”

Mr Porter said QAC drew up detailed plans for its airport master plan expansion to take place on that northern land next to the industrial area.

“It is only since it tried to take RPL’s land that it has changed its mind about not pursuing logical expansion to the north, away from residential areas to the south.”

Mr Porter said it was “unfortunate but perhaps not surprising” that these facts were not made clear in what he called QAC’s “self-serving and misleading” public statements.

“Our lawyers tell us it’s inappropriate for RPL to discuss evidence opposing the taking of its land while the courts are considering those matters, so it’s obviously also inappropriate for QAC to constantly re-litigate its case through the media and other public forums.”


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