15 Jan 2014

Kapiti man battling NZTA over compo

8:27 pm on 15 January 2014

A former owner of land in Kapiti earmarked for a new expressway is upset he is still waiting for compensation.

Two of the four acres Murray Livingstone owns have been acquired under the Public Works Act for the MacKays Crossing to Peka Peka project. A building on the site housing his plant business and home was demolished on Tuesday.

Murray Livingstone, right, stands where his garden centre used to be.

Murray Livingstone, right, stands where his garden centre used to be. Photo: RNZ

Mr Livingstone says he would have preferred to have sorted the compensation with the New Zealand Transport Agency before the demolition, saying its offer is lower than his valuation.

"I just want to be treated equally, you know, to have the equivalent of what I had before Land Transport New Zealand demolished my building. I really want my building replaced and Land Transport New Zealand to pay me for the land that's taken. It's as simple as that."

The agency's Wellington highways manager, Rod James, says Mr Livingstone turned down an advanced payment which would have still allowed him to negotiate for more.

"The key thing we're not in agreement on is the full value of his property. So we're currently looking at how the valuations have been done on our side and their side to try and get closer and get to a resolution."

Mr James hopes the matter can be resolved in the coming weeks or months.

Murray Livingstone says discussions with the agency are continuing. He plans to rebuild on his remaining land, but may wait until the expressway construction is complete.