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Sunnyside up in new Ngai Tahu deal

By Chris Hutching

Friday 2nd June 2000

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The property arm of South Island Maori tribe Ngai Tahu has bought one of two blocks of bare land suitable for residential subdivision on the former Sunnyside Hospital site in Christchurch.

The property is one of the first to be dealt with under Ngai Tahu's perpetual first right of refusal on surplus Crown property as provided for in the tribe's recent settlement with the Crown.

Ngai Tahu Properties rejected a valuation on both blocks when they were placed on the market by Healthlink South recently. The properties were then marketed publicly.

A 12.6ha block on Annex Rd valued at $2.9 million was bought by an as-yet unidentified buyer for a higher amount. The details may be revealed in a couple of weeks.

The main block of 17ha valued at $3.5 million was also tendered on the open market but the bids did not meet the initial valuation so it was offered back to Ngai Tahu a second time, as provided for under the tribe's Crown settlement.

The final price was $3.7 million. An additional negotiating point was the estimated $600,000 cost of a ring road the owner would be required to instal.

The tendering process was managed by CB Richard Ellis agent David Wallace, who said there had been strong interest because of the close proximity to the city centre and the green aspect with 100-year old trees on parts of the properties.

Under the first right of refusal process, if none of the bids had come up to the valuations the property would be offered back to Ngai Tahu at the lower offers, if any were made. Essentially the Crown may not accept terms and conditions inferior to a Ngai Tahu offer on the sale of any surplus Crown land in the tribe's area.

Ngai Tahu Properties has also been active in the Queenstown market, negotiating with Queenstown Medical Centre to build a leaseback development on the corner of Brecon and Isles Sts.

Ngai Tahu is also poised to sell its adjacent Brecon St Motor Museum building and Queenstown Mini Golf property opposite.

Ngai Tahu recently bought out the 33-year lease on the Motor Museum from locals John Darby and Tai Ward-Holmes, and Aucklander Peter Hanson.

Ngai Tahu is one of Queenstown's largest property owners.

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