Businesses and commercial investors who own buildings on Napier City Council leasehold land could find out if they are able to buy the land where they work within the next few weeks.

However, there will be no chance for anyone else to buy anything from the council's $34.1 million commercial land portfolio.

The sale of "non-strategic leasehold land" was approved on a "case-by-case" basis after the adoption of the council's Long Term Plan in June.

"We're just writing a policy for council now," chief executive Wayne Jack said.


"So that policy will go to them in the next few weeks. It basically picks up on the point that it will be done on a case-by-case basis to consider what the strategic opportunities for the land might be - it doesn't mean that every commercial property will be sold.

"The big thing is we need to have another form of revenue generation to be able to offset the revenue that we get."

Jack said the council had been "very clear" that any investment coming from sales would have to fit with its investment strategy - without adding financial pressure on to ratepayers.

"We need to maintain that revenue that comes from the land portfolio. That money covers a lot of the work we do along Marine Parade, around the foreshore and the inner harbour."

NCC holds a lessor's interest across 74 leases, over land with a combined book value of $34m. Together, the council's property portfolio brings in $1.6m to $1.9m a year in rent.

The properties, which are mainly commercial and industrial, are mostly in the Onekawa, Ahuriri and Pandora areas, at land transferred to NCC from the defunct Hawke's Bay Harbour Board in 1989.

Recommendations on the free-holding of all identified non-strategic land would be considered by the council's Audit and Risk Committee in the first instance for recommendation.

Any sale of leasehold land would be a decision for the full council.


Jack pointed out that although building-owners leasing land from NCC would be given the opportunity to buy identified land parcels, the land would not be put on the open market.

"Only the lessee will purchase. As soon as the policy is in place, the lessee can make a case as to why they would want to purchase the property."

If a lessee did not wish to buy then the situation would remain as is.

Hawke's Bay Chamber of Commerce chief executive Wayne Walford said the move to sell leasehold land to occupiers would aid business expansion and boost confidence.

"It has been a challenge for businesses wanting to invest in infrastructure and additional staff. Selling will hopefully provide some certainty that many Napier businesses in leasehold land have been looking for.

"Like the rest of the country, uncertainty restricts growth and development. With certainty Napier businesses will be able to confidently invest in their sustainability and the region's future."