Dunedin council wants to buy Foulden Maar

A pit at Foulden Maar, near Middlemarch. Photo: Gregor Richardson
A pit at Foulden Maar, near Middlemarch. Photo: Gregor Richardson
The Dunedin City Council is moving to buy the Foulden Maar site near Middlemarch, it has been confirmed.

 

The council, in a statement this afternoon, announced it had issued "notices of desire'' under the Public Works Act, as part of a push to purchase the land and prevent any mining taking place.

Aaron Hawkins
Aaron Hawkins
The step was being taken as liquidators for owner Plaman Resources Ltd prepared to sell the land, which has a mining permit.

Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins said Foulden Maar was rich in biodiversity, essential for conservation and will allow scientists to better understand the history of life, southern hemisphere biogeography and climate change.

"We know that the Maar is considered by scientists to contain New Zealand's richest trove of fossils, including plants, insects, spiders, fish and pollen,'' he said.

"For these reasons, its important we act to preserve this very special place and prevent any mining taking place.''
Issuing the notices meant a process to bring the land back into public ownership would start, Mr Hawkins said.

The notices have been served on the owner and registered on the titles, and the council now had to obtain a valuation and negotiate "in good faith'' with the owner, he said.

If the parties could not agree on a price, one would be determined by the Land Valuation Tribunal, he said.

If no agreement could be reached, the council would have one year to decide whether to proceed to a compulsory purchase.

 

Comments

Great news. So important to NZ

You could waste the Provincial Growth Fund on this purchase as the only alternative for the PGF would be to waste it on bureaucratic Council decisions and Green initiatives.

Why not organise a crowd fund...oh, they already have, the ratepayers.

Stuff reports the DCC will use the public works act to aquire the site. They better talk to their lawyers because that is not applicable in this situation..back to the drawing board Mr mayor

And what makes you an expert on the Public Works Act?
Just curious.
Would be interested to know exactly why you think it's not applicable. Some reference from within the Act itself would be useful, otherwise it's just your opinion.

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