13 Aug 2013

Govt to increase compensation in land acquisitions

4:25 pm on 13 August 2013

The Government plans to increase the amount of compensation paid to landowners when their property is bought for public works, such as the building of a highway.

At present, the Government can acquire property under the Public Works Act and pay the market value in exchange.

An extra $2000 is then added to compensate for the disruption and inconvenience.

The Government now intends to amend the Public Works Act to make the process fairer and more efficient.

The $2000 payment, which was set in 1975, will be increased to a maximum of $50,000.

Land Information Minister Maurice Williamson said compensation will be calculated using factors such as how large the family is and how long they have lived there.

He said the Government could save money by avoiding long legal delays to major roading projects such as the Waikato expressway or Transmission Gully.

Mr Williamson said the proposed changes will go before Parliament later this year.

Mr Williamson said the planned change more accurately reflects the inconvience people have to go through.

He said it does not seem right to only pay someone $2000 when they may have to move to a different area and children may have to change schools.