Oamaru Courthouse at stage one of LINZ disposal

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As part of a disposal process, Land Information New Zealand is determining whether the Oamaru Courthouse land will be needed for any other public works.

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.

Oamaru had its first court hearing in a new temporary facility on Humber St on August 13, following two years of hearings at the Oamaru Opera House after the old courthouse, a category one listed building, was closed in 2012 due to earthquake risk.

LINZ Crown Property acting group manager Sharyn Pilbrow 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.”

A number of steps are involved in the process and the Oamaru Courthouse is at stage one, which involves determining whether the land is needed for any other public works.

Steps for disposing of land (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;

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

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

By RUBY HARFIELD

PHOTO: RUBY HARFIELD

DISPOSAL: LINZ is currently deciding whether the Oamaru Courthouse land is needed for any other public works.