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Richmond Villas Appeal 

The matter referred to below relating to the sale of land on the south side of Richmond Villas, and the Ngati Maru Railway land came to council yesterday, along with in person submissions from owner Colin Parker, and his barrister - Colin Brabant.

The paper from the Council solicitor - Paul Davies argued that Council had complied with all the statutory requirements in seeking to revoke the reserve status of the land, and its disposal to Ngati Maru. Mr Brabant argued that the Reserve status should not be revoked, but if it was, then RVL should have the opportunity of tendering for it as the site was essential for preserving access to morning sun that may be compromised by any building on the site. Alternatives around this were also proposed.

Brabant referred to the Dunbar case wherein:

To put it another way, the Court did not agree with someone having an uncontested advantage over others in the market, unless there was a policy reason to support it. It is an offer back to former owners to the exclusion of others in the market who may be interested which would be unreasoinable in this context.

Brabant suggests that the property was deliberately under-valued ($12,500), either because of instruction from the owner, or "erroneous assumption."  Pretty strong stuff, particularly as Brabant suggests that RVL's potential interest appeared to have been deliberately overlooked, as evidenced in particular by the valuation having been "deliberately discounted."

Brabant indicated RVL's willingness to purchase, and landscape the area as an alternative to any building activity thereon, particularly in relation to the largest of the three blocks. 

Amongst general disquiet at the process amongst the Councillors, Mayor Goudie saw fit to propose that the matter be taken off the agenda , and the parties undertake negotiations to see if a satisfactory settlement could be achieved.This motion passed without argument.

This incident reflects badly on all concerned, and although the desire to treat with Ngati Maru can be understood, it is unacceptable to undertake apparently secret negotiations in this manner. It makes our Council look incompetent, and biased, even if best intentioned.





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Reader Comments (2)

A good summary/read.

For the life of me I can't work out why the parties are squabbling over a piece of land which is highly contaminated from scrapings from boat hulls, and is so low-lying it will be one of the 1st to be flooded from the sea with the sea level rise.

Just two weeks ago half the road entrance into the Thames Marina was covered with a spring tide. Now just add (more) water – at least half a metre of sea level rise is "baked in" to the climate system regardless of any effort we make in the meantime.

Neither the registered valuation nor the Council decision, nor submissions made by the adjoining owner made any reference to sea level rise threats.

Keeping the Reserve as a buffer and protection against sea level rise makes good sense - but no - it is to sold to allow potentially very intense built development! Parallel universe?

August 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDenis Tegg

"Keeping the Reserve as a buffer and protection against sea level rise makes good sense - but no - it is to sold to allow potentially very intense built development! Parallel universe?"
Bang on Dennis. It does appear that we are unwilling to accept that, business as usual, is no longer a sensible position to take.
The elephant in the room is trampling on things that are so deeply embedded in our processes and vision that we will / (can)not see the imperative need for alternatives and revisioning.
Looking a little further into the future is a very brave thing to do - especially when the consequences may be dire.
This piece of land may only be small, even inconsequential, but wise heads may understand that the issues that sit behind it are great and of significant consequence.
If we don't talk about it, it isn't there?

August 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRussell

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