Going, going…gone! and where’s our compo says Raumati garden centreBy Alan Tristram
Murray Livingstone watched in dismay today as bulldozers demolished his home, and business site, of 19 years at the corner of SH1 and Poplar Avenue in Raumati South on the Kapiti Coast.
The New Zealand Transport Agency took the site under the Public Works Act for the southern section of the $630 million Kapiti Expressway linking Mackay’s Crossing to Peka Peka.
But Mr Livingstone (60) says the Agency is still prevaricating on offering him proper compensation for the loss of his business Livingstone Gardens., which also housed his home.
He says the Agency has offered him $585,000 ‘advance compensation, without prejudice,’ but he doesn’t want to accept this because he thinks this would mean he’s accepting the Agency’s valuation of the site’s value.
Mr Livingstone says he would need up to $800.000 to replace his garden centre buildings on the 2 acres left to him from the original site. And he might not be able to go into operation for some four years while the Expressway is built.
Meanwhile, he says, he’s left in limbo:”We don’t own it(the land) and they haven’t paid for it!”
And, because his home in the old garden centre has disappeared under the bulldozers, he’s been forced to go back to the family home in Rimu Road, Raumati, and live with his Mother.
Among several other grievances listed by Mr Livingstone are these:
- He says he’s unable to easily access to some of his garden stock (plants) on the land still belonging to him because he has to get prior permission to cross the NZTA construction site to do this.
- Mr Livingston also says the NZTA have said they will pay his legal costs — but they have failed to pay anything up to now.
- Precious possessions such as (a) the flower pot on the former garden centre roof (b) a small bridge (c) trellis-work and (d) security gates, were all put into storage by the NZTA for six months, he says. But now the Agency is demanding storage costs for the items.
All in all, it’s a sad story, he says. He adds: “All we are asking for is a fair deal.”
Editor’s note: We are asking the NZTA for their side of the story, with a full right of reply.