Waitara must wait longer

03:09, May 02 2014

Waitara leaseholders will have to wait even longer before they find out whether Te Atiawa iwi will be their new landlords. 

New Plymouth District Council and the Crown have an existing agreement that the 780 Waitara leasehold properties can used as part of Te Atiawa's Treaty of Waitangi settlement for a $23 million transfer price. 

A decision by Te Atiawa on whether it would accept the properties was due in March, but was then pushed out until the end of April.

Today the council said the Office of Treaty Settlements had delayed the decision again. The announcement on the future of the land is now expected to be made in June. Until then the negotiations are confidential.

The 101.5 ha of leasehold land comprises 64.2ha of residential industrial and commercial properties, 19.6ha of rural lease and 17.7ha of recreational lease.

The lease lands are one of the most contentious parts of the iwi's settlement package that also potentially includes the former Barrett St Hospital and could reportedly be worth as much as $88m.

Waitara's residential and industrial leases have long been a headache for council and massive rent increases periodically spark community uproar.

Council has maintained it can do nothing to alter the value of the land while it is under offer to the government and therefore cannot reduce ground rents or move to freehold the land at this stage. 


Taranaki Daily News