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Normal process followed

21 November 2000

Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton explained again the entirely ordinary instigation of a public notification process about the future uses of a small part of the Hobsonville Airforce base, following comments by Brian Neeson.

"The Government explained today that officials are following the Public Works Act to sell part of the base which is not being used.

"The process has been commented on publicly on many occasions over the past 9 months and Mr Neeson must be one of the few people 'in the dark'," said Jim Anderton.

A New Zealand boatbuilder now resident overseas is interested in returning to New Zealand and using the site to create jobs and exports. "If Mr Neeson wants to stop jobs and is seriously opposed to economic development he should probably say so," said Jim Anderton.

Repeating what was said earlier today in a media statement with the Minister of Defence Mark Burton, Jim Anderton said,
"The Public Works Act requires that due process be followed including offer back obligations to former owners where appropriate".

"All legitimate interests including those of Maori will be protected. The process is a fair and detailed one, and it has and will take some time to work through."

“The current owner of the site, the New Zealand Defence Force, is working with the Ministry of Economic Development, Land Information New Zealand, Office of Treaty Settlements, Department of Conservation, Te Puni Kokiri and the Waitakere City Council to facilitate the sales process.

"This can hardly be described as a secret," said Jim Anderton.

Ends

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