I was not surprised to read of the sad case of Jane Leonard-Taylor whose house has become blighted by the advent of the proposed expressway (Expressway traps retiree in home, January 17).
In 2008 the Government, in its wisdom, amended the law so when there is a change in roads and no land is taken, there will be no compensation paid out. I put this situation to the Board of Inquiry recently and the chairman just looked at me as though I had two heads. I copied the members of the panel with the relevant section of the Public Works Act.
Is the board really there to ensure fair play? They cannot as the law does not permit compensation for losses unless land is purchased by the Government as this case proves. I suggest the Environment Court dismiss this proposal until the law is amended to permit the Government to purchase such properties and compensate the losers where no land is taken. Adjoining premises could end up with negative equity - the mortgage larger than the value of the house. Who will pay then?
I suggest this panel be disbanded until the Government re-think what is likely to happen to many others as well as the poor Leonard-Taylor couple. Personally I am not affected but feel this is roughshod behaviour and the 2008 amendment should be repealed.
Jean V Murrey
- Kapiti Observer