30 Mar 2010

Crown buys disputed beachfront land at Matapouri

8:51 am on 30 March 2010

The Government has bought a piece of beachfront land in Northland from private owners to settle a Maori and community grievance.

The hectare of land at Matapouri was confirmed by a 1999 survey as part of a block belonging to established Pakeha family, the Ringers.

Matapouri Maori and other residents believed the survey was in error and took court action to stop the Ringers from subdividing.

They said the land should have been part of the adjacent Otito Reserve which Maori sold to the Crown in 1970.

However, the Surveyor-General refused to order another survey, saying he was not convinced there had been an error.

The disputed hectare was independently valued last year at $6 million.

The Government has now bought the land from the Ringer family for $3.5 million and gazetted it as part of Otito Reserve.