18 Prior negotiations required for acquisition of land for essential works

(1)

Where any land is required for any public work the Minister or local authority, as the case may be, shall, before proceeding to take the land under this Act—

(a)

serve notice of his or its desire to acquire the land on every person having a registered interest in the land; and

(b)

lodge a notice of desire to acquire the land with the Registrar-General of Land who shall register it, without fee, against the record of title affected; and

(c)

invite the owner to sell the land to him or it, and, following a valuation carried out by a registered valuer, advise the owner of the estimated amount of compensation to which he would be entitled under this Act or the betterment that he may be liable to pay; and

(d)

make every endeavour to negotiate in good faith with the owner in an attempt to reach an agreement for the acquisition of the land.

(2)

If, after a period of 3 months,—

(a)

the owner fails to respond to any invitation issued under subsection (1); or

(b)

the owner refuses to negotiate with the Minister or the local authority, as the case may be; or

(c)

an agreement for the sale and purchase of the land is not made with the owner under section 17,—

the Minister or local authority may, within 1 year after notifying the owner under subsection (1), proceed to take the land under this Act.

(3)

Any notice under subsection (1)—

(a)

may be withdrawn by the Minister or local authority at any time; and

(b)

shall, in relation to any person and his interest in the land, be deemed to have been withdrawn at the expiration of the period of 1 year beginning on the day after the date on which the notice was served on that person unless, before the expiration of that period,—

(i)

proceedings have been commenced under subsection (2); and

(ii)

notice of the commencement of those proceedings has been given to that person.

(4)

Where any notice under subsection (1)—

(a)

has been withdrawn by the Minister or local authority under subsection (3)(a); or

(b)

has been deemed to be withdrawn by virtue of subsection (3)(b)—

the Minister or local authority, as the case may require, shall give notice to that effect to the Registrar-General of Land who shall register it, without fee, against the title to the land.

(5)

If the land required is—

(a)

Maori freehold land as defined in section 4 of Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993; and

(b)

beneficially owned by more than 4 persons; and

(c)

not vested in any trustee or trustees—

the Minister, or any person authorised generally or particularly in writing by him, or the local authority, as the case may be, before complying with the provisions of subsection (1), may apply to the Maori Land Court for the district in which the land is situated for an order under the provisions of Part 10 of Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993. The Maori Land Court shall deal with the application as if a notice under an enactment had been issued to the owners.

(6)

If an agent is appointed by the Maori Land Court, he shall, subject to the terms of the appointment, be deemed to be the owner of the land for the purposes of this section.

(7)

Where—

(a)

after reasonable inquiry the owner of the land cannot be found or is absent from New Zealand without appearing to have appointed an attorney with power to act on his behalf, and a period of 3 months has elapsed since notification was attempted to be given under subsection (1); or

(b)

in the case of land to which subsection (5) relates, an order has not been made within 6 months after the application to the court under that subsection; or

(c)

the owner of the land has indicated that he does not object to the acquisition but he has no power to sell the land; or

(d)

the owner of the land is under a legal disability and he has no person to represent him; or

(e)

the land is subject to a right of way by virtue of section 168 of the Land Transfer Act 1952 (as it was before the repeal of that Act) and the owner of the land has consented to the acquisition—

the Minister or local authority, as the case may be, may, without complying with the provisions of subsection (1) or subsection (2), proceed to take the land under this Act.

(8)

Where Public Trust is authorised by virtue of an order under section 81 to represent the owner, Public Trust may agree to represent the owner for the purposes of this section.

Section 18(1): amended, on 31 March 1987, by section 2(7) of the Public Works Amendment Act (No 2) 1987 (1987 No 67).

Section 18(1)(b): amended, on 12 November 2018, by section 250 of the Land Transfer Act 2017 (2017 No 30).

Section 18(4): amended, on 12 November 2018, by section 250 of the Land Transfer Act 2017 (2017 No 30).

Section 18(5): amended, on 1 July 1993, pursuant to section 362(2) of Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993 (1993 No 4).

Section 18(5)(a): amended, on 1 July 1993, pursuant to section 362(2) of Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993 (1993 No 4).

Section 18(7)(e): amended, on 12 November 2018, by section 250 of the Land Transfer Act 2017 (2017 No 30).

Section 18(8): amended, on 1 March 2002, by section 170(1) of the Public Trust Act 2001 (2001 No 100).