September 26, 2016
Submissions open on Pekapeka Block.
People have been given just six weeks on a bill aimed at ending a 150-year stand off over one of the most iconic blocks of confiscated Taranaki land.
The New Plymouth District Council (Waitara Lands) Bill deals with 163 hectares that was originally part of the Pekapeka Block confiscated by the crown in 1865.
Te Atiawa passed on the chance to buy the land because it would have cost most of its treaty settlement quantum, so the council is now trying to remove some of the restrictions on the Council’s use of the income and proceeds of sale.
If passed, the bill would allow half of the income from the land to go to the Taranaki Regional Council, with the other half held in a fund managed by a Board with equal Council and Te Atiawa representation.
The Council would keep its right to sell the land, but only to existing leaseholders.
The Bill will also enable the transfer of the underlying titles of three Council reserves (totalling about 30ha) and the freehold titles to 13 hectares of residential land to Te Kotahitanga o Te Atiawa Trust, plus the first right of refusal on Ranfurly Park and the 33 hectare Waitara Golf Club.
New Plymouth mayor Andrew Judd says the bill ic a chance for hapu, iwi, leaseholders and the wider community to have their voices heard directly by Parliament.
Submissions close on November 7.
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