Auckland-based Ngati Whatua could get a massive boost with a potential $16 million to $17 million annual income stream from its leasehold land near Auckland's waterfront.

After a decision by Justice Robert Fisher in favour of the iwi, leaseholders must now pay 5 per cent or 6 per cent of the annual value of the 20ha of land - on Ngati Whatua's books as being worth $250 million.

At 5 per cent and based on that value, Ngati Whatua would be due an annual income of about $12.5 million. But Fisher's ruling on one small parcel of land values it at a much higher level.

If applied across the entire 20ha site, one valuation expert estimated the iwi would be receiving $16 million to $17 million annually.


The decision leaves a terrible legacy for the lessees who own 317 apartments, Auckland Council's Vector Arena, Progressive Enterprises' Countdown supermarket on Quay St, BNZ, GE Money and many other building owners.

They will pay 5 per cent to 6 per cent annually for the next seven years, then their bills will rise in line with land value increases.

Property owners will not be able to disguise this disadvantage, one expert said. "Lease variations will be recorded on the title, so they can't pretend it's not there," he said.