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Disposal of School Land - Freeville School, Christchurch

Pat O'Connell made this Official Information request to Ministry of Education

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From: Pat O'Connell

Dear Ministry of Education,

I wish to enquire as to the process used to dispose of the surplus land used for the now-closed Freeville school in Christchurch (Title Reference CB694/40, Lot 202, DP 18657).

This land was previously owned by my grandfather, William Nicholas Ryan, but was acquired under the Public Works Act, 1928, for use as a school. The notification of the acquisition was, I believe, in the late 1940s. The actual sale to the Crown took place in 1956 after my grandfather had died, and was purchased from my grandmother, Mary Catherine Ryan, his widow.

My understanding is that when the Ministry disposes of surplus land, it must in the first instance be offered to the previous owner or his/her successors. This land, however, was sold directly to Ngai Tahu on 9th August, 2018 without our family, the previous owner's descendants, being advised.

As such, I wish to request information describing the process by which this land was sold, and why there was no notification of its disposal to our family.

Yours faithfully,

Patrick O'Connell
+64 27 5534766

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From: Enquiries National



Thank you for your email to the Ministry of Education. 

This is an auto generated response confirming your email has been
received.  Please do not respond to this message. 

We will respond to your email as soon as possible. 

Ngā mihi, nā 

Enquiries National Team | Ministry of Education | AG 

[1]education.govt.nz

We shape an education system that delivers equitable and excellent
outcomes
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ōna huanga
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From: Enquiries National


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Tēnā koe mō tō īmēra mai ki te Tāhuhu o Thank you for your email to the
te Mātauranga. Ministry of Education.

   

He urupare aunoa tēnei hei whakaatu kua This is an auto generated response
tae mai tō īmēra confirming your email has been
ki a mātou. Kaua noa e whakautu i tēnei received. Please do not respond to this
karere. message.

   

Mea ake nei ka urupare tonu atu mātou ki We will respond to your email as soon
tō īmēra. as possible.

 

 

Ngā mihi, nā

Tīma Whakaui ā-Motu / Enquiries National Team

Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga / Ministry of Education

Mātauranga House
33 Bowen St, Wellington

 

[1]education.govt.nz    |  Follow us on Twitter: @EducationGovtNZ
[2]https://twitter.com/mineducationnz

He mea tārai e mātou te mātauranga kia rangatira ai, kia mana taurite ai ōna
huanga

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From: Enquiries National

Kia ora Patrick

Thank you for your request for information below. The Ministry will consider and respond to your request in accordance with the Official Information Act 1982 (the Act).

The Act allows up to 20 working days for a response, making the 25th of May 2021 the latest date for our response to you. If more than 20 working days are needed due to the potential workload involved in answering your request, we will notify you accordingly.

Please note, the Ministry may publicly release on our website the response to your request five days after you have received it. Any personal information will be removed.

In the interim, if you have any questions about your request, please email [email address].

Kind regards

Enquiries National Team | Ministry of Education | AG
education.govt.nz

We shape an education system that delivers equitable and excellent outcomes
He mea tārai e mātou te mātauranga kia rangatira ai, kia mana taurite ai ōna huanga

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From: Enquiries National


Attachment 1257998 P O Connell Response Letter.pdf
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Kia ora Patrick

 

Please note the attached letter notifying you of the transfer of your OIA
request.

 

Thanks

 

Enquiries National Team | Ministry of Education ^MC
33 Bowen Street, Wellington
[1]education.govt.nz  |  [2]Follow us on Twitter: @educationgovtnz

 

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From: Ministerial Support


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Dear Patrick,

 

Your recent Official Information request to the Ministry of Education was
transferred to Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) to respond. Your
request was received on Friday, 30 April 2021.

 

You can expect a response to your request as soon as possible, and no
later than Friday, 28 May 2021, which is 20 working days after LINZ
received your request.

 

Kind regards,

 

Polonga Tau’alupe
Advisor | Ministerial Support & Official Correspondence

Policy and Overseas Investment

 

[1][email address] | DDI 04 460 2742

 

 

[2]linz_logo_signature_2020 Wellington Office, Level 7, Radio New Zealand
House, 155 The Terrace
PO Box 5501, Wellington 6145, New Zealand

[3]www.linz.govt.nz | [4]data.linz.govt.nz

 

[5]Image result for facebook icons       
[6]Image result for linkedin
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From: Pat O'Connell

Dear Ministerial Support,
Thank you for advising that my request has been passed to LINZ. I do however query whether the Ministry of Education might still have some information about this matter. On the Ministry website it is clear what the process is for land disposal. I quote here:

1, The property will be transferred to another government department or territorial local authority if it's needed for another public work.
2. If it's not transferred under step 1, the property will be offered back to the previous owner (or their beneficial successors) if required.
If the land was gifted, then it must be offered to the previous owner(s) at no cost. However, if they choose to take it, they must pay for any Ministry-funded improvements (that is, buildings).
3.If the property isn't returned under step 2 but is subject to a settled Treaty of Waitangi claim, the land is offered to the relevant iwi. For more information, go to Iwi leased school sites.
4.If the property is neither returned under step 2 nor subject to a settled claim, it's assessed under the Māori Protection Mechanism process and the Sites of Significance process.
If a claim is successful under the Māori Protection Mechanism, the property is usually land banked. That is, the Office of Treaty Settlements purchases and holds it until the Government settles the claim.
5. If the property is neither purchased by iwi nor land banked, it's put on the open market for sale.

See also this web page: https://www.education.govt.nz/school/pro...

This process indicates quite clearly the Ministry should have been in contact with our family at the point the land was earmarked for sale. There is no mention of any LINZ involvement.

I'd appreciate your clarification of the steps the Ministry of Education took to contact us, as described above.

Yours sincerely,

Pat O'Connell

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From: Peter R Hill

Hi Pat

Thank you for your follow up email.

We note the issues that you have raised.

Our response to these issues will be incorporated into our response to your original Official Information Act request which was transferred to LINZ on 30 April 2021.

Regards

Pete Hill
Principal Advisor
Ministerial Support and Official Correspondence

[email address] | DDI 04 460 2784 | MOB 027 235 8389

Wellington Office, Level 7, Radio New Zealand House, 155 The Terrace
PO Box 5501, Wellington 6145, New Zealand
www.linz.govt.nz | data.linz.govt.nz

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From: Peter R Hill


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Hi Patrick

 

Attached is a response to your Official Information Act request.

 

Regards

 

Pete Hill
Principal Advisor

Ministerial Support and Official Correspondence

 

[1][email address] | DDI 04 460 2784 | MOB 027 235 8389

 

 

[2][IMG] Wellington Office, Level 7, Radio New Zealand House, 155 The
Terrace
PO Box 5501, Wellington 6145, New Zealand

[3]www.linz.govt.nz | [4]data.linz.govt.nz

 

[5][IMG]        [6][IMG]         [7][IMG]         [8][IMG]

 

 

 

 

 

From: Ministerial Support
Sent: Friday, 30 April 2021 3:21 p.m.
To: '[FOI #15284 email]'
<[FOI #15284 email]>
Subject: RE: [BULK] Official Information request - Disposal of School Land
- Freeville School, Christchurch

 

Dear Patrick,

 

Your recent Official Information request to the Ministry of Education was
transferred to Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) to respond. Your
request was received on Friday, 30 April 2021.

 

You can expect a response to your request as soon as possible, and no
later than Friday, 28 May 2021, which is 20 working days after LINZ
received your request.

 

Kind regards,

 

Polonga Tau’alupe
Advisor | Ministerial Support & Official Correspondence

Policy and Overseas Investment

 

[9][email address] | DDI 04 460 2742

 

 

[10]linz_logo_signature_2020 Wellington Office, Level 7, Radio New Zealand
House, 155 The Terrace
PO Box 5501, Wellington 6145, New Zealand

[11]www.linz.govt.nz | [12]data.linz.govt.nz

 

[13]Image result for facebook icons       
[14]Image result for linkedin
icons         [15]Image result for twitter
icons         [16]Image result for youtube
icons

 

 

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From: Pat O'Connell

Dear Peter R Hill,

Thank you for the update regarding the Freville School land disposal. Clearly the response is not satisfactory to us, for two reasons:

1. The initial ruling made by Darroch was to approach the successors (our family), as stipulated in the Ministry's policy. This was then reversed, in what seem to be a specific attempt to find a justification for a sale to Ngai Tahu.
2. The quoted case (WILLIAMS v AUCKLAND COUNCIL [2015] NZCA 479) on which a (withheld) legal opinion was based bears little resemblance to our much simpler situation.

Therefore we have taken two actions:
1. We have appealed to the Ombudsman
2. We are writing to all Christchurch MPs to request them to pursue what is a clear injustice perpetrated by the Ministry.

Yours sincerely,

Pat O'Connell

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