The NZ Transport Agency has replied to strong criticisms by Murray Livingstone who saw his business and home bulldozed two days ago to make way for the new Kapiti Expressway.
Its highways manager Rod James.confirms that no compensation has been paid to Mr Livingstone, but argues that an ‘advance payment’ is availabe intermediately, without strings.
Mr James says:
” We can confirm that Mr Livingstone’s property has been compulsorily acquired for the Expressway project. We understand Mr Livingstone did not submit a formal objection to the acquisition through LINZ (Land Information NZ).
“We can confirm that the amount of compensation for the property has not yet been agreed with Mr Livingstone.
“An offer of advance payment of compensation has been extended.
“If accepted, this would be paid to him immediately and would in no way compromise his ability to negotiate for a higher price or to ultimately have the price determined by the Land Valuation Tribunal. He has chosen not to accept this offer.
“The offer of an advance payment remains available to Mr Livingstone and the Transport Agency is committed to reaching a resolution.”
Indoor plants and stock purchased
On the question of business stock which Mr Livingstone claims is a major issue, Mr James says:
“Mr Livingstone’s indoor plants, perishable seeds and chemical stock have been purchased from Mr Livingstone.
“The outdoor plants were moved to Mr Livingstone’s remaining land for his ongoing care.
“Mr Livingstone has not been refused the opportunity to visit this stock, as the plants are located on his own land.”
Mr James adds: “However, if he wishes to use his former land as a shortcut, we will be happy to accommodate him, but this would need to be arranged in advance because it is a construction site and health and safety precautions are required.
“It would not be appropriate to comment on the status of payments for legal services, as LINZ authorises such payments, but we note that the Public Works Act does allow for the reimbursement of reasonable legal fees and valuer fees.”