Section sales to be settled soon

Negotiations to buy abandoned sections at Cardrona for community use are expected to be settled within the next week.

Tenders closed last Friday on nine sections in and around the Cardrona village which were being offered for sale for the first time in 140 years by the Public Trust after descendants of the original owners - Chinese miners and other early settlers - were unable to be traced.

The Queenstown Lakes District Council put in a tender for the five sections directly opposite the historic Cardrona Hotel, which are used at present as the village's only public car park.

The council hopes to buy the land for the community and to create a village green, as identified in the Cardrona Valley Structure Plan.

At this week's Wanaka Community Board meeting, deputy mayor Lyal Cocks said the council was still involved in discussions with Public Trust regarding the sale of the sections.

''I can't really say much more than that ... it should be resolved within the next week.''

Wellington-based Public Trust consultant Paul Browne confirmed the trust was still negotiating with the highest tenderers and said none of the sections had been sold yet.

''By next week we will have a clearer picture on where we're at.''

Seventeen tenders were received by the trust for the various properties, which had been listed exclusively with Harcourts.

The sites across from the hotel had attracted the most interest, Mr Browne said.

He expected all the sections to sell through the tender process, although ''some might take a bit longer to agree to terms'' regarding price and the conditions placed on the tenders.

Cardrona Hotel co-owner Cade Thornton said he, like the rest of the community, was ''shocked'' to have not received any advanced warning the sections were coming up for sale, given how crucial they were to both his business and the village.

''It's been the hotel's car park since before there were cars ... [the land is] extremely vital for Cardrona. Yes the hotel, but Cardrona in general.''

The car park area catered not only for hotel patrons, but served as a school bus stop and an area for grit trucks to park when managing road safety, among other things.

There would be ''huge issues'' if the community lost the land, particularly the danger which would arise from cars parking along the sides of the busy road through Cardrona, Mr Thornton said.

He declined to say whether the Cardrona Hotel had put in a tender for the land.