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Simon's simply wrong

29 May 2002 Media Statement

Simon's simply wrong

The statement today by National MP Simon Power on the disposal of defence land at Hobsonville is unmitigated rubbish, Defence Minister Mark Burton said.

"Mr Power has ignored the legal requirements and completely misunderstood the disposal process," Mark Burton said.

"Under Section 40 of the Public Works Act 1981, land no longer required for public work, must be offered to the former owner or their successor "…at the current market value of the land as determined by a valuation carried out by a registered valuer."

"The higher of two valuations received for 4.03 hectares of land at Hobsonville was $523,000. Subsequently, that was the purchase price accepted by the successors of the former owner.

"Mr Power makes the ridiculous claim that two days later the land was worth between $7.5 million and $10 million. That sort of value could only apply to a fully developed residential subdivision, which would require a zoning change and millions of dollars in investment.

"This government does not see a role for the Defence Force as a property speculator. And erection of residential dwellings on that land remains specifically prohibited by the council zoning.

"As for the costs involved in preparing the land for disposal, Mr Power is sadly ill-informed. If he cares to read through previous answers to parliamentary written questions, he will see that the Defence Force was reimbursed for all marginal costs," Mark Burton said.


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