Wellington's richest family is now the major owner of Kapiti Coast Airport.
Todd Property Group, part of the family-owned Todd Corporation, has been revealed as having a 75 per cent shareholding in a new airport company, Kapiti Coast Airport Holdings, with former owner Sir Noel Robinson having 25 per cent.
Because both parties are private companies, they are not obliged to disclose a sale price.
Sir Noel said he had talked to many possible investors over the years and was pleased that the Todd group shared his passion for the Kapiti Coast and its potential for growth.
He had developed the 72- hectare business park at the airport as far as he could with his own resources, and was reducing his stake to introduce new capital so the development could continue.
He bought the airport in 2006 for a sum described at the time as "well under $40 million".
Since securing consents to upgrade the airport and create the business park, it is estimated the value of the business has increased by between $10m and $20m.
Last October, Air New Zealand began return flights to Auckland from Paraparaumu. Sir Noel said yesterday that the service was performing well, and further routes would be added.
He also announced construction of the second major building phase of the business park.
The first building, a 7800- square-metre Mitre 10 Mega store, opened in March last year and the second building, about 6700sqm, will house a New World supermarket, Smiths City and Kitchen Things.
Construction is to start soon, with completion due this time next year.
The airport land was shrouded in controversy after Murray Cole and three other Kapiti businessmen bought the 127ha block from the government for $1.65m in 1995.
The sale process was criticised by a parliamentary select committee inquiry and by the auditor-general, with both rebuking the transport minister for failing to offer the land back to its former Maori owners.
- © Fairfax NZ News