Land sale for Maui pipeline work

BLANTON SMITH
Last updated 08:56 02/07/2014

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A chunk of land surrounding the site where a major leak in the Maui pipeline occurred has been bought by the pipeline's owners.

Maui Development Limited (MDL) applied to the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) to purchase the land nine months ago and was given consent on May 8.

MDL now owns 121.28 hectares of land at Gilbert Rd, Pukearuhe, which it bought for about $1.27 million.

In October 2011 a gas leak at the site cut supplies to the upper North Island and cost the national economy an estimated $200 million.

A Government investigation showed that the pipeline was at risk of being ruptured by landslides or erosion at 59 different locations and as a result MDL was ordered to develop an improved management plan for the whole line.

The pipeline starts at the Maui onshore gas production station at Oaonui, between Opunake and Rahotu, and snakes its way to the Huntly Power Station.

Spokesman John Pitman said MDL had acquired the land so stabilisation work could be carried out in the area.

The original land owner was trying to sell when the leak occurred but repair work in the area had frustrated the sale, he said.

Pitman said MDL went through the OIO to purchase the land because the company had two overseas owners.

"It's been a long and expensive process."

Pitman said that geo-technical data was being collected on the land and the results would determine the design of stabilisation plans.

The company was getting close to the design stage and hoping to have the issues remedied this time next year, Pitman said.

"The objective is to fix up the land and on-sell it."

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