Land Information Minister Maurice Williamson today announced the Government did not support the inclusion of three clauses (34A, 34B and 34C) in the Reserves and Other Lands Disposal Bill 2008 and would seek to remove them.
"These clauses relate to an area of esplanade reserve at Opua. They would allow the local authority to grant easements, which would effectively allow certain commercial related activities to be conducted on the reserve".
"The clauses are not appropriate for a Government Bill, as they breach Parliamentary convention by conferring a private benefit to an identifiable individual", Mr Williamson says.
"Because the matter was first raised during public submissions on the Bill, the public has been given no opportunity to comment on what is proposed for the reserve. In effect, Parliament is being asked to authorise a proposal that had not received the usual public scrutiny when the House considers a Bill".
"Proceeding with the three clauses could set an unwelcome precedent".
Reserves and Other Lands Disposal legislation addresses technical changes to land status involving Crown land, reserves and other land held for public or private purposes. Applicants, which are typically councils and government agencies, seek to use this legislation to tidy up land status issues that require legislative change but don’t justify having their own Bill.