Council buys land for new dam site
Council has tied up a “complex but inspiring” deal to secure 80 hectares of public land for a future dam site in the Maungakotukutuku Valley behind Paraparaumu.
“This is a major success story,” says Mayor Jenny Rowan. “When you add this land to the investments we are also making in the Waikanae borefield, then we have effectively secured a 100-year water solution for the people of Kapiti.”
“Investment in bores, the river recharge project, and conservation achieved through the installation of water meters are all part of a sensible cost-effective solution to our long-standing water issues.
‘I am now confident that after years of debate and argument we have sorted out a robust, well researched, sustainable solution that will provide a good quality long-term water supply for the district.
“The purchase of the dam site means future councils will not have to struggle to find suitable land and pay exorbitant prices for it,” she says.
The dam site land purchase involved separate but related negotiations with a number of different parties – Ikaham Holdings Ltd, Kaitawa Forests Ltd, Greater Wellington Regional Council and the Department of Conservation.
Council Chief Executive Pat Dougherty said the key to the deal was the $2.075 million purchase of 91.6 hectares of land from Ikaham Holdings Ltd. A complication was the fact that 18.8 hectares of the land on the western sides of the property included a DoC covenant, known as the Mahaki Covenant. The land was important because it provided access to the dam site.
In negotiating with the Council over the land purchase, DoC agreed to surrender the covenant, and has subsequently been working with Council to off-set the bio-diversity values lost by establishing two new covenants, both involving land owned by Reikorangi Forests Ltd.
The new dam site will provide for a future dam that will contain up to 1,931,000 cubic metres of water with an inundation area of up to 30 metres deep in parts. The site will have a 60 metre buffer around it to allow for an access track and protect it from surrounding forestry activities.
While Council initially agreed that it only needed to buy approximately 80 hectares of land for the new dam site, it had ended up buying a larger area than required.
“This was because Ikaham Holdings wanted to sell their entire farm, not just 60 per cent of it. This made sense to us and Council agreed to buy the whole block. We will look to recoup the cost of this by selling off land that is excess to requirements.”
The final cost of the dam land was expected to total around $1.8 million, once the proceeds from excess land sales had been taken into account.
Dam land required totals 80 hectares
91.6 hectares from Ikaham holdings Ltd
20.43 hectares from Kaitawa Forests Ltd
1.77 hectares from Greater Wellington
Excess land to be on-sold
Land covered by new covenant:
10 hectares bought by Council from Reikorangi Forests Ltd
85 hectares to remain in Reikorangi Forests Ltd ownership