Securing land for new hospital

Under the Public Works Act 1981 the Crown can acquire land by agreement or compulsorily.

Where land is compulsorily acquired, the landowner is required to be compensated.

The Act requires landowners to be treated fairly.

There will be little change for affected Dunedin businesses for some time yet, as there is still a lot to do before construction begins.

The Ministry of Health will buy the land, using the Land Information New Zealand (Linz) process under the Act.

A Linz-accredited agent is required to prepare the necessary reports, assist with the negotiation for the land and ensure the compensation negotiated is fair both to the landowner and the Crown.

The ministry has engaged The Property Group to do this work.

The Property Group assisted the Crown with many of the land acquisitions in Christchurch following the earthquakes.

The Ministers of Health and Finance approve the funding for the purchase, while Linz approves the acquisition of the site.

The site across St Andrew St from Cadbury, which contains the Wilson's car park, has eight owners and it may take a bit longer to buy all the properties.

If agreements are unable to be reached, it generally takes at least six to 12 months to compulsorily acquire land.

This does not include a landowner using their right of objection to the Environment Court, where their land is compulsorily acquired.

The right of objection relates to the taking of the land, not to the amount of compensation payable.

In the event of objections, this timeframe would be extended further - acquisition could take up to three years.

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