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'Young Nick's Head protected'?
9 August 2002
Update: The government says it has gifted the cliff, pa site and peak of Young Nicks Head into public ownership. In a press release (below) Finance Minister Michael Cullen also stated a trust will established to protect the cultural and historic values of the land. Ngai Tämanuhiri however have not been told the full details of the agreement, and will be meeting next week to discuss it means.
Young Nick's Head protected
"Young Nick's Head will be protected and the cliffs, pa site and peak of Te Kuri gifted into public ownership as part of a purchase deal for Young Nick's Station," Finance Minister Michael Cullen and Associate Minister for Land Information Paul Swain announced today.
The key historic, iconic and culturally significant sites on Young Nick's Head will remain in New Zealand hands in perpetuity.
The purchaser, New York financier John Griffin, has also agreed to establish an open covenant through the Queen Elizabeth II Trust to protect the remainder of the headland area from commercial development.
Mr Griffin has offered to set up a trust with Ngai Tamanuhiri to preserve and protect the cultural and historical values of the property.
Access rights will be preserved.
These commitments are enforceable by the Overseas Investment Commission.
"Ironically, it is only because the property is being sold to an overseas buyer that we were able to impose conditions upon the sale. That would not be the case were it being bought by a New Zealander," the Ministers said.
"We believe this is a constructive solution, entered into in good faith by Mr Griffin, which recognises the iconic importance of this site to both Maori and Pakeha and we urge all parties with an interest in the headland to work constructively together."
Mr Griffin came into the picture after an attempt by Ngai Tamanuhiri last year to buy the property for $4 million failed through lack of finance.
The Ministers said every effort had been made to accommodate Ngai Tamanuhiri's concerns, including the exploration by the Department of Conservation last month of an option whereby the headland would be subdivided off and bought by the Crown.
But the advice to the Ministers was that the farm was already a marginal economic proposition and that this would make it unviable.
"The station needs investment to restore its production and conservation value. Mr Griffin plans to upgrade it, landscape and plant it. He will also restore the manager's house and build a home for himself.
"These improvements will be of benefit to the local economy," the Ministers said.
Michael Cullen and Paul Swain,