Doc considering land for disposal

After sitting for ''decades doing nothing'', a parcel of land above Clyde is being considered for disposal by the Department of Conservation.

The 47ha strip of land, which sits above State Highway 8 opposite Clyde township, is part of the Clyde Recreation Reserve and was managed by the Central Otago District Council until 2002.

The revocation was eventually approved in the New Zealand Gazette in May last year, and formally came under the control of Doc, which was now proposing to revoke the reserve status on the land for disposal.

Council property and facilities manager Mike Kerr said a resolution was passed by the council in 2002 asking the Minister of Conservation to revoke the board's appointment to manage the land, as well as recommending the reserve status be lifted for disposal.

The council had a ''bit of reserve around Clyde'' which was under review and it decided the parcel of land, which began at the bottom of the hill in Clyde and extended to the Clyde lookout at the top of the hill, was ''unusable''.

The Earnscleugh-Manuherikia Community Board, which later formed part of the Vincent board, said it had no recreational value and the land ''sat there for decades doing nothing''.

Doc statutory land management adviser Dinah Wakelin said a notice was published in the newspaper this month asking for public submissions.

It would consider the submissions before making a final decision.

If the reserve status was lifted, there would be consultation with Ngai Tahu, who would have first right of refusal to buy the land, and further ''checks and balances'' before deciding on a final course of action.

Asked why it took so long for the revocation to be approved, Ms Wakelin said there were ''quite a few things going on'' at the time, which might have resulted in the resolution being ''lost'' in the process.

Wanaka Department of Conservation office spokesperson Annette Grieve said the landscape was mostly undulating to steep terrain, with ''exotic'' vegetation ranging from pine, gorse, poplar, grasses, broom and hawthorn to ''patches of terraced dryland''.

The land had little conservation value and there were potential weed control issues, she said.

liam.cavanagh@odt.co.nz

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