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Home arrow Other Coastlines arrow Matapouri arrow Court hearing of land spat in public interest - judge
Court hearing of land spat in public interest - judge PDF Print
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Other Coastlines - Matapouri
Written by Mike Dinsdale, The Northern Advocate   
Tuesday, 20 January 2009

View towards Otito Reserve past Morrison House

The dispute over a survey of disputed land at Matapouri is of "significant public interest" that should be heard by the courts, an Associate High Court judge says.

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 the Attorney General, as well as the land's title-holders.

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

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

The land is owned by members of the Ringer family, including Val Monk, John Ringer and Martin Ringer, who say the property was bought legally by their grandfather Jock Morrison in 1912.

The first stage in the battle was heard in the High Court at Whangarei last month and in his just-released judgment, Associate Judge David Robinson ruled the questions to be resolved by the case were the following: this stage it was not possible to do more than assess an impression of the merits of the groups' claim

"Is the boundary between O Tito reserve and the adjoining land defined correctly [by the surveyors]? And if the boundary ... is incorrect, where is the location of the correct boundary between the two parcels of land?"

Full story...

NZ Herald reprint

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