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Otito Reserve Judgment PDF Print
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Written by Friends of Matapouri   
Wednesday, 22 December 2010

High Court says Chief Surveyor wrong in 1999

A small Northland community and hapu have won a significant victory after challenging two Government departments in the High Court.

High Court Justice Heath today released his judgment in which he found an error in law had been made by the Chief Surveyor in 1999.

His decision follows a hearing in July 2010 over 1.1 hectares of land at Otito Reserve, Matapouri Bay, which fell into private ownership as a result of a disputed survey that redefined the boundary.

The Crown paid $3.5 million to buy back most of the land and restore it to public ownership in early 2010 more than two years after it had been made aware of the issue. However, the Crown refused to admit error.

[The Crown] offered to pay less than half the legal costs of our two community organisations if we withdrew our Court action.

Te Rangiwhakaahu Hapu Charitable Trust and Friends of Matapouri continued with Court action against the Department of Conservation (DoC), the Department of Land Information New Zealand (LINZ), and the Attorney General seeking acknowledgment of Crown liability and to recover their legal costs, which had by then become substantial.

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 22 December 2010 )
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