Thursday, October 15, 2009

Give the land back sir noel - you know it is the right thing to do

This one seems pretty straightforward.

"Former Paraparaumu Airport landowners are continuing their fight for the land as a $450 million redevelopment of the airport is about to begin.

Thirteen descendants of former landowners have instructed their lawyer to go to the High Court to have about 85 hectares of the 127ha block offered back to them under Section 40 of the Public Works Act.

The Crown took the airport land under the act during World War II, but failed to offer it back to the former Maori landowners before selling the block to Murray Cole and three other Kapiti businessman for $1.6 million in 1995."

Bogus sale -

"The sale process was criticised by a parliamentary select committee inquiry and the auditor-general, both of whom rebuked the transport minister for a flawed sale process."

Mr Cole sold it in 2006 to present owner Auckland businessman Sir Noel Robinson for "well under $40 million".

After forking out $4 million on three years of planning, Sir Noel received interim approval from the Environment Court last month for a plan change allowing his redevelopment plans, including an upgraded airport, new terminal and business park, to go ahead."

Right - now we can see where the real problem is - can't make any money if it is given back to the rightful owners can you.

"Norma Ellison, whose grandmother owned land where part of the main runway and meteorological office are situated, and two of her sisters, aged between 70 and 90, are determined to continue their fight.

"There is blood on that land. There will be no peace until it is settled. We are not going to give up," Mrs Ellison said."

I wouldn't be flying into the airport that's for sure.

"Te Whanau a Te Ngarara member Yvonne Mitchell said a dirty deal was done.

"The Crown acknowledged that the process was flawed – it was a dirty deal. The land could have been used for educational purposes for our whanau and our elderly."

Dirty deal all right - but the rich get richer and that is all they care about.

"Lawyer Leo Watson represented the whanau in its failed appeal to the Environment Court against Kapiti Coast District Council's approval of a plan change in April, paving the way for the airport redevelopment.

Mr Watson is now representing 13 descendants of former landowners, who owned 68 per cent of the land. He said he had been instructed to take the case to the High Court and had told Sir Noel of the action.

"The land that is not required for the airport and is surplus to requirements must be offered back. We will be seeking declarations that land not required for the airport be offered back to all those who are entitled," Mr Watson said."

Kia kaha for the fight to get your land back. And sir noel - i'd take that gong off you.

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