[21 June/Stuff]

Officials and the owner of a Wairarapa sheep station were deadlocked over public access to a forest hut and tramping trail. If the disagreement can’t be solved, the Overseas Investment Office has the power to order the property to be sold. The Chinese owner bought the Kawakawa station for $3.3 million in 2015. The conditions of the sale included that the owner had to put access to the Aorangi Forest in place. The station barred trampers from walking up the Otakaha Stream to reach the hut which was built by the Forestry service and maintained by the Department of Conservation. Walking Access Commission Chief Executive, Eric Pyle, said the hut was located on public land within the forest. He added the commission ensured any access they recommended was reasonable, and would not impose unfairly on overseas investors. The parties were encouraged to use mediation or arbitration.