LINZ researching Oamaru courthouse

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Land Information New Zealand are researching historical files relating to Oamaru’s old courthouse before they start the process of disposal.

The old courthouse was transferred to LINZ on June 23 following an announcement by the Ministry of Justice in May stating the cost of strengthening the building would be too expensive for the Ministry to justify.

Court hearings have been operating in the Oamaru Opera House after the old courthouse, a category one listed building, was closed in 2012 due to earthquake risk.

LINZ acting group manager crown property John Hook said because they received the property for disposal and management only four weeks ago they were currently researching the historical files and completing due diligence.

After this work is completed they will be able to start the disposal process, he said.

Any disposal of land owned by the Crown must meet a number of statutory and government policy requirements – such as the Public Works Act 1981.

These steps ensure that the interests or legal rights that parties – such as other government agencies, former owners or iwi – may have in the land being disposed of are appropriately addressed, he said.

Steps for disposing of land (shown in order):

Determine if the land is needed for any other public works;

Determine if the land needs to be offered back to the person the Crown originally purchased it from, or their successors;

Offer the land to Māori under a Treaty claim settlement or, possibly, hold the land for a future settlement; and

Sell the land on the open market – generally by public tender or listing with a real estate agent.

*Note: disposals might not involve all of these steps, as land could be disposed of at any stage depending on the outcome of each step.

PHOTO: RUBY HARFIELD

DISPOSAL PROCESS: LINZ is currently researching the historical files and completing due diligence before they begin the process of the disposal of the old courthouse.