16 Jul 2008

Compensation payment to be invested

9:19 am on 16 July 2008

The Atihau-Whanganui Incorporation has big investment plans after getting $23.5 million in compensation from the Government.

The settlement was negotiated on the incorporation's behalf by former prime minister Jim Bolger.

Waatea News reports law changes in 1902 resulted in changes to leases that were heavily in favour of Pakeha lessees.

Chairperson Dana Blackburn says since the 101,000 acres between Ruapehu and the Whanganui River came back to the owners in 1970, the incorporation has pursued a policy of buying-back leases when they come up for renewal.

He says the incorporation can now invest in its land and stock, rather than seeing profits eaten up by interest payments.

As well as fertiliser and better breeding stock for its sheep and beef blocks, he says Atihau-Whanganui is considering investing in windfarms and other non-farming activities.