Lease for reserve land plan upheld

Woodville vexatious litigant Jay Reid has failed in his attempt to prevent reserve land in Tararua being leased to farmers.

Tararua District Council has proposed to lease out two areas of reserve land for five years, with a right of renewal for another five years, for grazing.

The 29 hectares of land, on Gorge and Broomfield roads near Woodville, has been rented to farmers for several years without being put out to tender officially.

Reid objected to the leases being formalised and continuing, arguing it would over-ride the recreational purpose of the reserves.

He was heard by the council's tribunal and hearings committee earlier this month, where he said he wanted part of one area used as a motorcycle track.

In a letter sent to Reid, the council said the lease offer would be going ahead.

Signed by governance manager Richard Taylor, the letter said leasing the land was legal, the revenue from it would be put back into maintaining reserves, and it was the best way to manage the areas.

The conditions of the lease would also ensure the status of the land was recognised.

Reid said the decision was "predictable" and "inevitable".

He said formalising the lease involved the farmer having to adhere to the Reserves Act, which required public access to reserves.

"We're not asking for money or anything like that.

"We just want access to public land."

Before the hearing, Reid said he would possibly take legal action against the council if the outcome was not in his favour.

Yesterday, he did not say if he would go down that road.

It would be difficult for him to do so, though, as he has been declared a vexatious litigant. Because of that, Reid would have to get permission from a High Court judge to bring any legal action against the council.

Manawatu Standard