21 Jan 2020

Abandoned West Coast land put up for tender

3:09 pm on 21 January 2020

Tenders have opened for abandoned West Coast land a council is now in charge of selling.

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Buller District Council chambers in Westport. Photo: RNZ / Tracy Neal

Buller District Council is coordinating the sale process of 13 plots of land in Charleston, 30km south of Westport.

The council made a public request last year for information on who owns the land, and notified it would start a sale process if no one claimed it.

Corporate and commercial services manager Dean Phibbs said the council does not own the land and cannot gift it to community groups.

He said the process is subject to a proper legal process and the council is merely coordinating the land sale on behalf of the Crown which will take the proceeds.

"Sale of abandoned land is subject to the provisions of the Local Government (Rating) Act and the council is simply co-ordinating the sale of the land on behalf of the Crown," Phibbs said.

That extended to the council facilitating the advertising and court processes for it to be sold.

"The Act states that proceeds from any resulting sales, minus relevant costs, will be handed over to the Crown. Council has co-ordinated the project up to the point of tenders opening and from here Connors Legal will take over the receipt and processing of tender documents and any resulting sales which occur."

The sale of abandoned land is also subject to a section of the council's rating policy. Mr Phibbs said that gave the council's chief executive the authority set the reserve price for each plot.

The council said that of the 13 blocks on the market, seven had limitations which meant they were not suitable for individual development. Owners of properties which adjoin these plots have been told that the land is up for tender, should they be interested in submitting one.

Tenders are invited before 4pm on 16 March.