Leaseholders want payouts revisited

Wednesday 5 May 2004

Motueka Maori land leaseholders will begin circulating a petition from Thursday in a bid to get the Government to revisit historic compensation payouts made to lessees.

By The Landlord

Wakatu Urban Residential Lessees committee spokeswoman Nadine Connock said amounts paid to lessees when market rentals on Maori lease land were introduced in 1998 were "inadequate and inaccurate" in light of recent land value increases and inflation.

She said lessees hoped the Government would accept it needed to intervene as a result of the petition and a planned letter writing campaign.

"This is just the beginning of a series of actions to be taken, and we are seeing similar reactions from other lease action groups around New Zealand. The key is to join forces and start a nationwide lobby to remedy the effects of a serious problem," Ms Connock said.

The payouts were intended to cover future rental costs and were part of a $60 million nationwide payout to 2400 leaseholders of Maori land. There are about 200 leaseholders in and around Motueka.

Compensation averaged about $25,000 per leaseholder but Motueka lessees say the actual amounts received were considerably lower and did little to alleviate subsequent rent hikes.

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