Tainui gifts land to council to reopen walkway

LIBBY WILSON
Last updated 05:00 30/05/2014

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The stalemate which kept a central section of Hamilton's riverside walk-and-cycleway closed is now over after Tainui agreed to gift the land to council.

Tainui owns the 750 square metre plot where a slip in July 2011 led council to close the section.

Tainui is giving the land to Hamilton City Council, which will launch $670,000 repairs to reopen the walk-and-cycleway.

The slip occurred between Bryce St and Claudelands Bridge.

Since the slip council and Tainui have had multiple discussions and negotiations about who would contribute what to its repair.

News of Tainui's agreement to gift the land was met with applause from the councillors when announced by chief executive Barry Harris yesterday.

Tainui had previously said it would sell the land for $50,000.

Yesterday's result was a good one for the community and a result of working together, deputy mayor Gordon Chesterman said.

"I'm very pleased that this is the outcome and we can get on and fix the problem, and create the national cycleway-walkway that was the rationale for all this work."

While several councillors noted Tainui had been generous in giving the land, councillor Ewan Wilson said it was a gift the council had to spend $670,000 to use.

But by making the decision now, the council saves $80,000 as it already has contractors repairing slips in nearby areas and can add this work into the contract.

That meant council should be able to reopen the section of walkway before summer, Harris said.

Partial funding for the remedial work may be available from the Waikato Regional Council's Project Watershed.

Tainui Group Holdings chief executive Mike Pohio was unable to be contacted before Waikato Times went to print.

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- Waikato Times

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