Council discusses right of first refusal proposal

Commissioners meet on Monday to talk the proposed policy over.

Tauranga City Council is considering submissions on the draft Property Acquisitions and Disposals Policy 2021.

At a meeting on Monday, commissioners discussed at length how a proposed right of first refusal for mana whenua would work.

The draft policy aims to provide a consistent and transparent approach to buying, selling or transferring of council property.

It was created following the review of three existing policies, which it proposes to roll into one, says a statement from Tauranga City Council today.

Commission chair Anne Tolley says the review gave council the opportunity to look at the purpose and principles of the policy.

“This includes considering how we can recognise the historical and cultural connection that mana whenua have with the land here in Tauranga Moana.

“The draft policy proposes to give mana whenua the opportunity to purchase surplus council property through a right of first refusal (RFR) at market value, before it is offered for sale through an open market process.

“This would be the first council policy of its kind in Aotearoa New Zealand, so we need to carefully assess all aspects of this proposal, and how it would work in practice.”

Tolley says council needs to find balance between achieving the best return for ratepayers when they sell land and recognising the significant role that mana whenua have in building, protecting and celebrating Tauranga, its environment and its people.

During the deliberations, the commissioners considered proposed changes to the draft policy brought forward through public consultation (104 submissions received), and requested further changes to the document and the process it outlines.

The commissioners asked that staff report back to the next Council meeting on Monday, October 4, with a reviewed draft policy which:

  • removes atypical properties from the RFR, being properties which are difficult to assess the market value of because they are unique (no similar recent sales to compare them to), can have a variety of different uses (i.e. not constrained to one type of land use, like housing), or which could have a higher value to a sub-section of the market than to the market as a whole 
  • shortens the timeframes for the proposed disposal process while continuing to afford mana whenua sufficient time to fully participate in the process.

All submitters, including Te Rangapū Mana Whenua o Tauranga Moana Partnership, will be given the opportunity to provide their thoughts on the proposed changes, and any feedback will be passed on to the commissioners ahead of the next Council meeting on October 4.

The council report and draft policy are available on council’s website.

Minutes of the meeting will be available there by the end of the week.

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Tom Ranger

Posted on 17-09-2021 09:48 | By

I’m maori. Can I get one of those $1 deal-io’s like Watts and Hughes gets from council plz?

When will it stop

Posted on 16-09-2021 15:19 | By jimmyant

How many centuries do european people need to live in a country before they too can claim historical and cultural affinity to land we all live in!


Posted on 16-09-2021 11:50 | By dumbkof2

why should one group of people have precedence over another when it comes to selling council property. should be open to anyone. onus is on council to get best possible price wether it is by sale, tender, or auction

Unelected puppets.

Posted on 15-09-2021 11:21 | By

These are unelected puppets. Only here due to incompetence of previous lot. I’d choose....none of the above.


Posted on 15-09-2021 10:00 | By

In the current environment it seems to me that it’s almost impossible to define the true market value without going to the market. Councils have absolutely no idea what the market is willing to pay on the day any more than a real estate agent can tell a vendor prior to auction. I smell a rat... Behind closed doors dealings is dishonest when public property is involved, but dishonesty is normal practice in this country, by word and deed.

To market valuation

Posted on 15-09-2021 06:51 | By Kancho

If proper current market valuation is paid maybe, I expect councils to be operated as a business and ratepayers are shareholders. The old saying there is no sentiment in business. However auction is really the way the best return is achieved so the best way to negotiate a sale is to meet a market rate reserve