Large profit in the offing

A climber hanging under the `Proud Monkey Roof' climbing route in Wye Creek. Photo by Guillaume...
A climber hanging under the `Proud Monkey Roof' climbing route in Wye Creek. Photo by Guillaume Charton.
Contact Energy stands to make a substantial windfall on one small property it owns near Queenstown, if it decides to sell.

In 1985 the government-owned Electricity Corporation of New Zealand bought 5.6ha at Wye Creek, on the edge of Lake Wakatipu towards Kingston, for $8500.

In 1996 Contact inherited many of the assets of the corporation - including the Wye Creek section.

Now the capital value of the section is listed by the Queenstown Lakes District Council as $1,025,000.

The Otago Daily Times understands ECNZ bought the land for a trout hatchery but it was never built and the land remains undeveloped. Neighbouring land has become one of the more affluent areas of Queenstown.

Contact did not respond to requests for information about the property yesterday but indicated at the weekend it has begun selling its surplus Otago properties - beginning in the Beaumont area.

The ODT understands the Wellington-based energy company owns more than $68 million worth of Otago land and assets.

Its decision to sell surplus land follows its "withdrawal" from plans to build more dams on the Clutha River.

Wye Creek does have a hydro-electric station but it is owned by Alexandra-based Pioneer Generation.

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