An agreement reached almost 11 years ago between Tauranga City Council and the Otamataha Trust to jointly own and manage reclaimed land on Dive Crescent has finally been confirmed.
The 3442m2 strip on the seaward side of the road incorporates properties including Bobby’s Fresh Fish Market, Maui Ocean Products, the Cargo Shed and a recently demolished shed at the northern end of the site.
It forms part of a larger area originally reclaimed by the Tauranga Harbour Board and the Public Works Department to form the rail and road corridors in the early-20th century. Ownership of the land has never been legalised.
Alongside council, Otamataha Trust, representing the mana whenua interests of Ngai Tamarawaho and Ngati Tapu over the area, entered into a memorandum of understanding in 2010, which foresaw the land being owned in equal shares by both parties and jointly-managed through the Dive Crescent Governance Group.
The Council and the Trust applied to Land Information New Zealand for the title to the land in 2011. Following a lengthy period of negotiations over the price and other conditions, the transfer of ownership was confirmed late last year, at no cost.
Commissioner Shadrach Rolleston, one of two Council representatives on the Dive Crescent Governance Group, says the adoption of a recommendation at Monday’s council meeting to transfer a 50 per cent interest in the land to Otamataha Trust reconfirms a previous decision of Council. He calls it a “proud moment” which the entire community could celebrate.
“This honours the intent and terms of the MoU and sets a solid foundation for the Trust and the council, through the Governance Group, to decide upon a joint strategy for the future management and development of this important waterfront area, for the benefit of both parties and the wider community,” says Shadrach.
Otamataha Trust chair, Puhirake Ihaka, and deputy chair, Peri Kohu, also welcome the move.
“The Trust is pleased to have played a major part in getting this land returned,” say Puhirake and Peri in a joint statement.
“Looking forward, the Trust is committed to working with Council on the development of the Dive Crescent precinct, for the cultural, community and commercial benefit of its hapu and the city.”
Title to the land is expected to be issued to the Council in the near future, with a 50 per cent interest immediately transferring to the Trust.