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Council purchases Kina Peninsular land

September 11th, 2013
by David Armstrong

Motueka's community leaders are hailing the success of the boldly executed tender by Tasman village residents and the District Council to buy Kina Reserve and keep it available for public use.

The land, for years known as the Lee Baigent Memorial Domain, recently come up for tender by the owners Carter Holt Harvey (CHH), which had wanted to cut up the land a sell as private housing developments but had come up against legal action through the Environment Court.(See our earlier story.)

Tasman District Council managers worked over eight days with the Tasman Area Community Association to launch an eleventh-hour tender, which was successful.

However, Council was unable to consult with Community Boards over this decision due to extremely short time frame to develop and submit a tender. The Motueka ward Councillors were strongly in favour of and fully supported the proposal.

The community fundraising and local land owners’ contributions - an amazing $413,000 from 140 families - paid for the bulk of the purchase, and the Council’s share of the funding, at $332,500, made up the balance of the tender price.

The Council’s contribution will be funded equally from the Waimea/Moutere/Lakes/Murchison and Motueka Reserves Financial Contributions (RFC) accounts. Possession date is September 16th.

News of the successful purchase was officially announced at last night's Motueka Community Board meeting, and once explained, the Board members said they were very pleased with the Council's action. They congratulated Council's CEO and Corporate Services manager for getting the deal done so quickly and effectively through collaboration.

They believe the land will be a huge asset to potential users as a recreational and environmental resource, for people in both the Motueka and Waimea/Moutere wards. (It should be noted that Kina is not actually in the Motueka ward.)

As part of the agreement between Council and Kina people, the contributions towards the land purchase by community and local land owners will give them various "rights" including a lease or licence for boat sheds.

The Council will become the owner of the whole 10.7 hectares, from which around 2ha could be sold as a residential lot. Those sale proceeds would be the Council's to offset against its share of the purchase price. The reserve area will be retained in Council ownership and control.

The $116,250 contribution from Motueka's RFC is likely to come out of a contingency fund of $245,000 which is held in case any potential reserve lands in the ward come up for sale.

Hamish Rush of the Tasman Area Community Association said in a TDC press release that he was delighted with the outcome.

"An amazing combined effort by the Tasman community and the Council has enabled a public benefit to be realised that would not have been possible for either party to achieve on their own," he said.

"Thanks must go to all the councillors and staff who supported this bid and they should hold their heads high, as their support of the Tasman community has resulted in access to this important piece of coastal land being secured for future generations.

"It has been a roller coaster ride for the local community, not knowing if we would ever regain access to what has been our playground for over 70 years, and we are thankful it has finally come to an end," Mr Rush concluded.


Comment by Shirley Frater:
[Posted 13 September 2013]

Congratulations to all who were involved with this great initiative for the region. Great achievement. Many people have missed using this reserve for family and boating activities. Hope the gates will be be removed straight away. Shame on Carter Holt for not giving it to the people.

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