Friday, June 04, 2010

Thirty years is long enough

Thirty years ago, the then-Kapiti Borough Council forcibly acquired land from the local iwi under the Public Works Act for a "civic centre" which was never built. Now, they're being forced to give it back.

Good. While the PWA allows central and local government to forcibly acquire land for public purposes (roads, schools etc), it also requires them to return it to the former owner when it is no longer required. The question then is when we can determine if land is no longer required . And in this case, I think its clear: the council hadn't done what they said they would do with the land for thirty years, and doesn't plan to. And that makes a clear case for return. And even they admit that - Kapiti Mayor Jenny Rowan has said that it should have been offered back 20 years ago.

This is a victory for justice. Now I'm waiting for the redneck backlash...