Sections offered for sale

Two pieces of abandoned Central Otago land are for sale after the Central Otago District Council failed to find the inheritors.

A 1012sq m block at Ettrick and a 2023sq m block on the Kyeburn-Hyde road in Maniototo have been notified for sale by tender by the council.

Council property officer Brian Taylor said an alert in their system was triggered when no rates were paid on the properties for three years and following council investigations, it was found the registered owners had long since died.

He said John Fry Kitching, who owned the Ettrick property, acquired it in "the century before last century".

"We can't just give it to the descendants without knowing what the last will and testament said."

Mr Taylor said the process to have the sections legally declared abandoned was a long one, sometimes taking a couple of years. The first step is to publicly notify the intent to make an application to have the land declared abandoned and "hopefully people [with information or a claim to the land] come forward but if not it is then passed on to the legal team".

The legal team then go through old wills and property records before they can make an application to the district court to have the land declared abandoned. Mr Taylor said they had to be able to prove to the district court that they had tried everything to track down the owners but had not been able to do so, before the court would declare it abandoned.

The Alexandra District Court declared the land abandoned on July 18 this year and the council recently notified it for sale.

According to information supplied with conditions for tender, the Kyeburn-Hyde road section is a slightly elevated site close to the Otago Central Rail Trail and had a capital rateable value of $3500. The Ettrick section had been identified in the Central Otago District plan as being flood prone and had a capital rateable value of $4500.

Tenders close on October 31.



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