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Fort Dorset land sale is within accepted processes

28 October 2000 Media Statement

Fort Dorset land sale is within accepted processes

The Minister in charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Margaret Wilson says the proposed sale of defence land at Fort Dorset in Wellington is entirely within the accepted processes for dealing with land affected by Treaty of Waitangi claims.

Margaret Wilson said the land to be sold is less than 7 hectares of an original block of more than 22 hectares.

“About four hectares is being used for educational purposes. The rest – the vast majority of the site - is set aside as reserve. This includes all known sites of significance and historical importance to Maori. This land was set aside on the basis of information from claimants and additional land was also reserved to ensure there was no loss of historical sites.

“The Crown knows nothing of two historical sites reported to be on the land to be sold. If there is new information about the site it should be communicated as soon as possible.

“Seven Maori groups have current claims that affect the land. For this reason, to say nothing of the provisions of the Public Finance Act, the land cannot be offered on a preferential basis to any claimant group.

“The group reported to have learned of the proposed sale “out of the blue” this morning was in fact told of the plans in October last year. The group was asked if it wanted the land to be “landbanked”, that is, set aside for use in future claim settlements. The group did not ask for this to be done.

“The Crown has dealt with all matters to do with this land in a principled way. If there are concerns we are always ready to listen,” said Ms Wilson

ENDS

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