General policy statement
The purpose of this Bill is to revoke the reservation of 2 pieces of land within the Waitaki District and to clarify the status of a third piece of land in that district.
The Bill revokes the reservation of Part Lot 7, DP 6425 (the Palmerston Showgrounds) under the Reserves Act 1977 and vests ownership of the land in the Waitaki District Council (the Council) absolutely.
The Council purported to enter into an agreement for sale and purchase of the Palmerston Showgrounds with the current lessees on 19 May 2000. However, the reserve status of the subject property gives effective ownership of the Palmerston Showgrounds to the Crown as a Crown-owned reserve.
Ngai Tahu and the Department of Conservation have consented to the sale of the Palmerston Showgrounds by the Crown to the Council. The Council has publicly notified its intention to apply to the Department of Conservation to revoke the reservation of the land. No objections were received to the public notification and the Council resolved on 23 March 2004 (confirmed on 6 April 2004) to enter into the proposed sale. A requirement of the purported sale was that the current registered lease would be surrendered. However, that leaves the current lessees in an untenable position because their dwelling is situated on the subject land.
The Council considers it appropriate to regularise the current lessees’ occupation of the Palmerston Showgrounds property by—
revoking its reserve status and freeing it of all express and implied reservations or restrictions to which it was subject under the Reserves Act 1977; and
vesting ownership of the property in the Council absolutely (subject to lease 738032 and easement 7201478.3) so that the Council may consider selling the property to the current lessees.
The Department of Conservation and Ngai Tahu have consented to the revocation of the reserve and to the vesting of the property in the Council.
Lot 1, DP 345820
The Bill also revokes the reservation of Lot 1, DP 345820 under the Reserves Act 1977 and vests ownership in the current registered proprietors absolutely.
The Council entered into an agreement for sale and purchase of the freehold of this property with its then registered proprietors, with settlement scheduled for 30 January 2004. At that time, the Council was unaware that the reserve status of the property as a Crown-owned reserve gave effective ownership of the property to the Crown. The property was then sold to 2 subsequent registered proprietors before it was sold to the current registered proprietors.
Ngai Tahu and the Department of Conservation have consented to the revocation of the reserve status and ratification of the sale of the freehold of the property by the Council to the original registered proprietors. The ratification of the sale necessarily also ratifies the subsequent sales of the subject property to the subsequent registered proprietors.
The current registered proprietors have their dwelling on the property and the Council considers it appropriate—
to regularise their occupation of the property by revoking the reserve status of the property and freeing it of all express and implied reservations or restrictions to which it is subject under the Reserves Act 1977; and
to vest ownership of the property in the current registered proprietors, subject to mortgage 7263041.3.
Lookout Point land
The Bill clarifies the status of the Lookout Point land, also known as Forrester Heights. It was originally set aside in 1885 by Order in Council, as part of a larger block, for the purposes of an endowment in aid of the funds of the Oamaru Borough Council, a predecessor to the Waitaki District Council.
In 1937, by Order in Council, the Lookout Point land was set apart as reserves for an endowment in aid of the funds of the Oamaru Borough Council and, erroneously, made subject to (a predecessor of) the Reserves Act 1977 (Gazette 1937, Vol III, p 2549).
Title was issued in 1942 to the land now comprising Computer Freehold Register OT325/79.
In 1947, a certificate of title in the name of the Oamaru Borough Council was issued for the Lookout Point land. The title carried forward the reference to reserves legislation.
Uncertainty now exists as to whether the Lookout Point land—
The Waitaki District Council, the successor to the Oamaru Borough Council, wishes to have the status of the Lookout Point land confirmed as that contemplated in the 1885 Order, namely, as endowment land, so that it may sell the land in accordance with sections 140 and 141 of the Local Government Act 2002.
Clause by clause analysis
Clause 1 is the Title clause.
Clause 2 provides that the Bill commences on the day after the date on which it receives the Royal assent.
Clause 3 provides definitions for key terms used in the Bill.
Clause 4 authorises and directs the Registrar-General of Land to give effect to the vesting provided for by the Act by making the relevant entries in the register kept under the Land Transfer Act 1952.
Clause 5 revokes the reservation of the specified land and frees it of any trusts, reservations, and restrictions arising under the Reserves Act 1977 that applied before the commencement of the Bill, but leaves the specified encumbrances in place.
Clause 6 provides that the land is vested as specified. The clause also confers on the Council, in relation to the land specified in Part 1 of the Schedule, the power to dispose of the land. In relation to the land described in Part 2 of the Schedule, the clause deems the Council always to have had the power to dispose of the land, thereby validating the earlier sale of that land.
Clause 7 declares the land to be vested in the Waitaki District Council as an endowment property for the purposes of aiding Waitaki District Council funds and states the land is an endowment property within the meaning of section 140(2) of the Local Government Act 2002 (and therefore able to be sold in accordance with sections 140 and 141 of that Act).
The Schedule sets out, in 3 Parts, descriptions of the land to which clauses 5, 6, and 7 apply, and the encumbrances to which the land is subject.