Matthew Martin is a senior reporter at the Rotorua Daily Post

Hand-back of land on agenda

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Aerial view of Hamurana Springs. Photo/Stephen Parker
Aerial view of Hamurana Springs. Photo/Stephen Parker

A recommendation to hand ownership of land surrounding Hamurana Springs back to local iwi and the tabling of a petition will be openly discussed at a council committee meeting tomorrow.

Members of the Rotorua Lakes Council's strategy, policy and finance committee will meet from 9.30am in the council chamber where three confidential items will also be discussed.

Councillors will debate the transfer of ownership of a small piece of land surrounding Hamurana Springs, used for town water supply, back to its original owners Ngati Rangiwewehi, which would settle a long-standing Treaty of Waitangi grievance.

They will also officially receive a petition of more than 1100 signatures compiled by local woman Rosemary Michie against the council's proposed shared library and children's health hub. The petition will not be debated and will become a matter of public record.

In a confidential session, councillors will discuss the business case for a new event proposed for Rotorua, along with the appointment of Te Arawa nominees picked by the iwi to represent the newly-formed Te Tatau o Te Arawa Board on the council's two committees, and on the council's Resource Management Act hearings panel.

They will also confidentially discuss updates on changes to the Resource Management Act.

A council spokesperson said the board's makeup would be discussed in confidence "to enable free and frank discussion and protect the reputation of the individuals involved".

"The information will be made public at the appropriate time. This is the normal process undertaken for such appointments - an example is the appointment of members on to the boards of council-controlled organisations."

According to an agenda report, the title to the Hamurana Springs Recreation Reserve - approximately 47ha - was transferred to Ngati Rangiwewehi as part of its Treaty settlement with the Crown, but this did not cover a small portion - 0.2ha - of land under a water supply easement.

The council plans to hand back the rest of the reserve, and says that will not affect the water supply.

It has a resource consent to take from the spring until 2026.

If councillors agree, the proposal will go out for public consultation due to the land's status as a recreation reserve.

Strategy, policy and finance committee meeting:

* 9.30am in the Rotorua Lakes Council chamber

* Hamurana Springs land transfer

* Petition against a proposed children's health hub and library facility

* New event business case - confidential

* Te Tatau o Te Arawa Board members nominations - confidential

- Rotorua Daily Post

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