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Home arrow Other Coastlines arrow Matapouri arrow 'Let courts decide' over Matapouri block dispute
'Let courts decide' over Matapouri block dispute PDF Print
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Other Coastlines - Matapouri
Written by Mike Dinsdale, Northern Advocate   
Monday, 15 September 2008

Whitiroa. The small rocky knoll right next to the Morrison house.

The Surveyor General has ruled out taking action over the 1999 survey of a disputed Matapouri land block, saying the matter is up to the courts to decide.

Friends of Matapouri and Te Whanau o Rangiwhakaahu Hapu Charitable Trust have lodged High Court action against the Department of Conservation, Land Information New Zealand and Attorney General Michael Cullen over the land.

The dispute centres on a prime 1.1ha piece of privately-owned beachfront land at Matapouri, which the groups want returned to Crown ownership. They say the land is worth about $10 million.

The groups said the land and its wahi tapu sites originally formed part of the Otito Reserve but was wrongly converted to private ownership through a surveying error in 1999.

The land is owned by members of the Ringer family - Val Monk, John Ringer and Martin Ringer - who say the property was bought legally by their grandfather Jock Morrison in 1912. They will fight any court action, and have welcomed Surveyor General Don Grant's decision not to require the 1999 survey adjoining Otito Scenic Reserve to be corrected.

Mr Grant said the historical survey evidence on the boundary between the adjoining private land and the reserve contained a "level of conflict and ambiguity" that meant he was not sufficiently convinced there was an error.

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