INDEPENDENT NEWS

Minister can't pass the buck on land sales

Published: Tue 30 Nov 2004 05:25 PM
Hon David Carter - National Party MP
30 November 2004
Minister can't pass the buck on land sales
"It is totally irresponsible of Treaty Negotiations Minister Margaret Wilson to blame the National Party for the way Ngai Tahu is buying and selling surplus Crown land at huge profits," says National Party MP David Carter.
"The law passed by National required Ngai Tahu to pay full market value for any surplus Crown land, and my investigations show this isn't happening.
"In some cases, Ngai Tahu has pre-sold land at a huge profit to a third party - even before the official deal with the tribe has been finalised.
"For example, Ngai Tahu made a $3 million profit on the sale of Tirimoana, a North Canterbury property, which it sold 59 days before it officially bought it.
"The policy of the previous National Government was that the land-banked properties would be sold at market value. These properties are clearly not being sold at market rates when there are such big profits being made.
"The Office Of Treaty Settlements must review its valuation procedures. There is clearly a big problem that is costing taxpayers millions of dollars.
"It's nothing short of an outrage that after five years Margaret Wilson admits she has done nothing and, it would seem, doesn't care either," says Mr Carter.
ENDS

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