Challenge to council's plan to lease Woodville reserve land

JONO GALUSZKA
Last updated 12:00 12/12/2013

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Woodville's vexatious litigant admits that leasing reserve land to farmers helps with other projects in the area, but he still wants the council to reconsider.

Jay Reid, who was declared a vexatious litigant earlier this year, was before the Tararua District Council's tribunal and hearings committee yesterday to try to stop areas of Woodville reserve land being leased to farmers.

The council proposes leasing 29 hectares of reserves, historically rented to farmers for grazing.

Mr Reid said the Reserves Act stipulated the areas should be used for the purpose classified, which he argued was recreational use.

The areas were managed by the Woodville Domain Board, which funnelled money from previous lease agreements into other reserves.

Mr Reid said good work was done with that money, but the lease arrangement should not go ahead in its current form.

The land was able to be used as a reserve, gave public access to the Manawatu River and had paper roads through it, he said.

Even if the lease went ahead, there should be changes to ensure the public could use sections of the land that could not be grazed, he said. Council governance manager Richard Taylor said access to the land was through a gate near the road, but the New Zealand Transport Agency did not feel it was a safe entrance.

The agency had told the domain board to get rid of it, but it had been left in case rising river levels required stock to be evacuated.

The lease was legal, and much of the land was unsuitable for recreation, Mr Taylor said.

The committee will publish a report on its findings in the next week.

Mr Reid previously told the Manawatu Standard he could possibly seek permission to take court action if the decision did not go his way.

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- Manawatu Standard

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