20 Dec 2013

Landcorp gives iwi chance to buy land

7:46 pm on 20 December 2013

State-owned enterprise Landcorp has backed out of a sale of farmland near Te Puke, which is being claimed by local iwi.

The agribusiness has cancelled the tender for the Wharere farms in Pukehina and has decided to allow Ngati Makino and a neighbouring iwi the chance to buy the land.

Earlier this month local iwi Ngati Whakahemo expressed concern about the sale of the farms, saying it too has a claim to that land.

Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson welcomed the tribe's chance to secure the Wharere Farms, saying Ngati Makino was denied the right to buy the farms in its treaty settlement over three years ago because Landcorp regarded the land as a strategic asset.

Mr Finlayson said since that time, Wharere had become isolated and unable to be clustered with other land managed by Landcorp.