13 Sep 2009

Land swap worked out for sinking marae

5:46 am on 13 September 2009

Agreement has been reached on a land swap to relocate a marae from sinking land on the banks of the Waikato River.

It's predicted the long term effects of a geothermal power station could see the present marae land sink underwater within a decade.

Since production wells were drilled at the Ohaaki power station site 30 years ago, the ground surface has been dropping by about 17cm per year.

Now Contact Energy has agreed to purchase land from a farmer for a land swap, so the Ohaaki marae can be relocated to other tribal land.

Ohaaki working party secretary Murray Tonks says a hui on Saturday was positive and all parties will work towards the relocation plan.

The matter will now go before the Maori Land Court.

But with all sides in agreement, Mr Tonks says that should just be a formality.