In answer to the complaints raised by Raumati Garden centre owner Murray Livingstone (above), a spokesperson for the Land Transport Agency says:
In instances where land is required for a state highway project, negotiations are undertaken with the owner(s) of the land under the provisions of the Public Works Act 1981. These negotiations are confidential to the parties concerned and it is not appropriate for the NZTA to discuss this confidential information publicly.
As with all property acquisitions we are committed to working closely with the affected land owner to reach the best possible settlement for them, within the boundaries of the Public Works Act.
New Zealand law ensures that property owners receive fair market value for any property acquired under the Public Works Act. The market value is usually determined from two independent registered valuations of the property’s value at the time it is purchased, ignoring the impact of the project on the property’s value.
In other words, the independent valuations will determine what the property would be worth on the open market if the project in question did not exist.