Waitara Lands Bill 2016

Parliamentary process

Parliament’s Māori Affairs Committee call for submissions on the New Plymouth District Council (Waitara Lands) Bill closed on 7 November. The Council presented its submission at the committee’s public hearing in New Plymouth on Friday 18 November. The committee is expected to report back the Bill to Parliament by 22 March 2017.

Further information was given to the select committee on 15 February 2017. 

Following the select committee are three more Parliamentary stages: the Bill’s second reading, the Committee of the Whole House, and the third reading of the Bill. These stages could take about two months. 

Information on the Bill is available on the Parliament website and the Bill is available on the New Zealand Legislation website.  

Below is a copy of our initial briefing to the Māori Affairs Committee to help you understand the issues and the Council's position.

Notice of intention to introduce a local Bill

5 August 2016

This is notice of the intention of the New Plymouth District Council to promote a local Bill to achieve enactment of the above Act.
The objects of the Bill are:

  • To remove all endowments and restrictions affecting Waitara Endowment Land and accumulated and ongoing income from that Land. The Waitara Endowment Land is land on which there are many leasehold properties.
  • To transfer to the Trustees of Te Kotahitanga o Te Atiawa Trust, a large area of land on the west side of the Waitara River mouth (West Beach), an area on the east side of the river mouth (East Beach), and Clifton Park; and provide for their ongoing governance and management by the Council and the Trustees.
  • To transfer about 13.3302 hectares of land at Brown Road to the Trustees without restrictions.
  • To grant the Trustees a right of first refusal over Ranfurly Park and part of the golf course should the Council ever decide to sell.
  • To grant to the lessees of approximately 700 sections 
  • Waitara Endowment Land the right to freehold the land by paying its unimproved land value.
  • To divide net accumulated and ongoing income from Waitara Endowment Land rents and sales equally between the Council and Taranaki Regional Council.
  • To authorise the Taranaki Regional Council to spend its share primarily within Waitara, but beyond if conditions are met.
  • To create a Fund to hold the New Plymouth District Council’s share of that net income, and a Board comprising appointees of the Council and the Trustees to administer the proceeds of that Fund for the benefit of the Waitara community.

The postal address of the promoter is: New Plymouth District Council, Private Bag 2025, New Plymouth 4342, Attn: Greg Stephens.

Background

We are proposing to change the legal framework for the Waitara endowment land, including leasehold properties. This will be done through promoting new legislation to Parliament. The aims of this reform are to enable leaseholders to obtain freehold titles to their properties, create a new fund for the benefit of the Waitara community and transfer land to Te Atiawa.

The public's views on the proposed Bill were sought and 141 submissions were received. The Council considered all submissions at a public hearing on 15 June in Knox Church, Waitara and deliberated on all submissions on 20 June in the Civic Centre, New Plymouth. 

On 5 July 2016 we adopted the New Plymouth District Council (Waitara Lands) Bill to promote to Parliament, subject to minor typographical changes. We are beginning the Parliamentary processes, which involves extensive formal notification processes to all affected landowners, Government agencies and to the wider public.

Parliament sets its own timetables. However, the usual course would indicate that the Bill may take up to one year to pass through the Parliamentary processes and become law.

Proposed Bill

Our Bill has three key aspects to it:

  1. Leaseholders will receive a right to purchase the freehold title to their property. Leaseholders who don’t exercise this right will be able to continue to rent their land.
  2. The funds from the leasehold land – both rents and proceeds from sales – will be put back into Waitara. The money will be divided between New Plymouth District Council and Taranaki Regional Council, and both councils have committed to investing the money back into the Waitara community.
  3. Some land will be transferred to Te Kotahitanga o Te Atiawa Trust, reflecting the historic land confiscations by the Crown from Te Atiawa hapü in Waitara.

Related information

What happens next

The Bill is now beginning its parliamentary process, which starts with formal notification to all affected parties. Parliament sets its own timetables. However, the usual course would indicate that the Bill may take up to one year to pass through the Parliamentary processes and become law.

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