Fire service seeks 33-year Karikari reserve lease

Published on 18 May 2020

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The Far North District Council is seeking public feedback on a proposal to offer Fire and Emergency New Zealand a 33-year lease over part of a site accommodating its Karikari Peninsula rural fire depot.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) plans to replace its current depot on Matai Bay Road with a new and upgraded building. Before the project can proceed, FENZ must confirm security of tenure for the council-owned land.

A month-long public consultation on the proposal is now open and will run until 15 June. Submissions will be received by Te Hiku Community Board.

“The current fire depot is essentially a double garage,” says Te Hiku Community Board Chair Adele Gardner. “The local population has grown since the depot was built and FENZ wants to build improved facilities on the land.”

FENZ has a licence to use the current fire depot, which expires in April 2021. There is no charge on this licence, which covers the entire 1.0390 hectares of council-owned recreation reserve land the depot sits on.

Under the proposed arrangement, the 2,467.5 square metres required to house the new building and carpark will be classified as ‘local purpose (community building) reserve’ under the Reserves Act 1977. It will be leased to FENZ at a nominal rate of $1 per year. The rest of the land will remain available as recreation reserve and classified as such.

“We need to know if the community is in support of the proposed lease arrangement, so councillors can take this into consideration when making a final decision on the proposal,” says Ms Gardner.

She confirms that Te Rūnanga-ā-Iwi o Ngāti Kahu has already expressed support for the plan.

FENZ will finance and own the new station and will take care of any maintenance costs. There will be no cost to Council.

Submissions can be made on the Council website here

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