Should the owners of a Karikari Peninsula holiday park be allowed to lease part of a council reserve to accommodate peak-season campers?

That's the question the Far North District Council is putting to the public to settle controversy over a long-standing informal arrangement with the owners of Whatuwhiwhi Top 10 Holiday Park.

Under the arrangement the holiday park has been allowed to use part of the adjoining, council-owned Perehipe Recreation Reserve as a campground "overflow" for tents.

In return the holiday park's owners have mown the reserve and supplied water to public toilets year round, saving the council and ratepayers more than $9000 a year.

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The holiday park is currently owned by Shanghai Cred, the Chinese real estate firm that also owns nearby Carrington Estate.

However, the arrangement dates back to three sets of previous Top 10 Holiday Park owners.

In mid-2016 the new owners asked to formally lease part of the reserve so they could create short-term powered and unpowered tent, caravan and campervan sites.

Under the Reserves Act 1977, any change to the use of a reserve must be publicly notified and the council has to consider all objections and submissions. Hence the council is proposing to lease part of Perehipe Reserve to Carrington Holiday Park Jade LP for five years with a right of renewal for another five years. The holiday park owners will pay a commercial rate determined by a valuation.

Objections or submissions can be emailed to submissions@fndc.govt.nz, lodged online or posted to Submissions-Perehipe Reserve, Far North District Council, Private Bag 752, Kaikohe 0440. The closing date is April 18.