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Chauvel Welcomes Waitangirua Farm Ownership

Friday 19 August 2005

Chauvel Welcomes Near-Total Retention of Waitangirua Farm in Public Ownership

"I am delighted that a Labour Government has ensured the future public ownership of 80 percent of the Waitangirua Farm," Labour Candidate for Ohariu-Belmont Charles Chauvel said today.

Conservation Minister Chris Carter today announced that most of Waitangirua Farm will be purchased from Landcorp Ltd, with a significant injection of funds made available by the Government for the purpose and in conjunction with the Wellington Regional Council.

More than three quarters of Waitangirua (1098 ha), located between Porirua and Hutt City, is to be purchased for $6.27m, $3.1m of which will be paid for by the government. A further $2.8m will come from the Greater Wellington Regional Council, and $335,000 from the Porirua City Council, subject to final approval by the respective councils.

"Waitangirua farm is a spectacular area of open space, it forms the main central core of the popular Belmont Regional Park. All cross-park walks and landscape values of the park are dependent upon the retention of public access to the farm. This is a very popular recreation area for local people, and I believe they should remain in public ownership," Mr Chauvel said.

"I have spent a lot of time earlier this year lobbying Ministers about the importance of ensuring that if Landcorp starts selling land that it holds between the Western Hills and the West Coast that it is kept in public ownership. I arranged for Richard Sadlier of the Friends of Belmont Park to meet personally with Chris Carter on this matter.

We agreed at that meeting that it was important that all stakeholders - including DOC, Landcorp, and the Wellington Regional Council - should get together to discuss the issues at stake, and I am delighted that this has happened and that it has had such a positive result. Readers can see a copy of the media release I sent out at the time in which I set out a suggested way forward at http://www.charleschauvel.com/media.shtml."

"It is now of vital importance that the Regional Council consults widely throughout the Western Hills and in other affected communities to ensure that the land in question is properly integrated into existing public reserve land, such as Belmont Regional Park," Mr Chauvel said. "I will be monitoring this process on behalf of the people of the electorate with interest."


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