More than 20 people queued in sweltering weather yesterday in the hope of buying a piece of paradise as 28 sections go on sale at 8am today.
But for some it was even hotter out of the queue, and the sun, with claims the Napier City Council's Parklands Residential Estate wasn't an even greenfields. Complaints to Hawke's Bay Today included that at least one developer was stacking the queue with agents, hoping to secure several of the properties.
A woman who planned to join the queue last night said: "It's not fair. The council needs to make sure it is fair. We had our heart set on a section, but I don't think we'll bother now."
Earlier, building company partner Boris van Zijll de Jong, of Advance Construction who, at 4pm, had already been in line about eight hours, said: "It highlights the lengths people are prepared to go to. We obviously need land available to sell to our clients."
"Everyone's well aware there is a bit of a land shortage going on in Hawke's Bay," Mr van Zijll de Jong said, highlighting the region is hardly alone with the problem.
"In Auckland they line-up in their cars."
Council policy engineer Steve King confirmed it's one section per buyer, first-come firstserved, but added the council could do little about the use of agents in the queue.
Mayor Bill Dalton, who was surprised to see the queue growing when he arrived at work almost 24 hours ahead of the start of the sell-off, was concerned about the claims, and said he would like details.
But, while he was surprised, it wasn't the first time he'd seen people queuing to buy land in Napier. "I can remember doing the same sort of thing back in 1973, 1974, when the council made land available in Tamatea," he said.
"There were just the same sorts of pressures then. It demonstrates that we need to look for more land for residential development, and commercial development, in Napier. We've got some ideas."
At stake today is the Stage 13 release of four sections in Orotu Dr and 24 in new street Rakaia Way, which backs on to Prebensen Dr and is south of Ahuriri Estuary and Hawke's Bay Airport.
Ranging in size from 440 to 696 square metres, prices range from $162,000 to $181,000, and intending purchasers were required to "attend in person," according to advance notices.
See the map of the location of stage 13 release of Parklands subdivision.
The land was part of Lagoon Farm, which was transferred to the council from the Hawkes Bay Harbour Board, as the board was phased-out in the local government reorganisation of 1989.
Part of the farm was later identified in the Napier Urban Growth Strategy as necessary to meet demand for residential development in Napier, and 120 hectares were rezoned in November 2000, aimed at eventually providing about 800 sections to meet Napier's greenfields housing needs to 2016.
Today's release will take the number of serviced sections made available to 461 in a development which also includes roadways and reserves, such as extensions to the Park Island sportsgrounds.
Development of the first 18ha started in early 2005, and 67 Stage One sections went on sale in June that year.
Mr Dalton spoke with those in the queue early yesterday and said they "represented" interest in 10 of the sections that are becoming available.
Mr King said people could have two to three weeks to complete their arrangements or the council would put the sections back on the market with offers first to those who had been next in the queue.
The Parklands developments are run as a business entity of the council which decides what proceeds will be used for in further development of the city.