Ngai Tahu confirmed yesterday it had on-sold the former
Wanaka Primary School to an undisclosed buyer. Photo by
The long-running saga over the Ministry of Education's
disposal of the former Wanaka Primary School, in Tenby St, is
almost at an end.
The property has been sold to an unidentified buyer, and
final settlement is set for May 7.
The ministry had offered the central Wanaka property to Ngai
Tahu Property under the tribe's right of first refusal.
A Ngai Tahu spokeswoman told the Otago Daily Times
yesterday the tribe decided to buy the property but, after
exploring possible uses for it, decided ''on-selling'' it
would generate income for the iwi to enhance its economic
base and to assist it ''to advance the collective wellbeing
of tribal members''.
A buyer had been found but she would not disclose details of
As part of its Treaty of Waitangi settlement, Ngai Tahu has
first option on all Crown land for sale in its region.
The Ngai Tahu spokeswoman said the right of first refusal was
an economic instrument designed to rebuild the Ngai Tahu
economic base and was enshrined in law.
The ODT has reported previously the 1.6187ha school
was ''mothballed'' in 2010, when the school's staff and its
430 pupils relocated to a state-of-the-art $21.5 million
campus in Scurr Heights.
The former school property was offered to Ngai Tahu but the
tribe turned it down.
It was then put on the open market last year at $3.6 million
plus GST for the main block and $300,000 plus GST for a
second smaller site.
It failed to sell and the ministry then reduced the price of
the main block to $3.25 million plus GST and, as required,
reoffered it to Ngai Tahu.
A third block of land at the school was sold last year to
Ngai Tahu and subsequently on-sold to neighbours who wanted
to preserve their lake views.