Row over Hawea land: Lauer ‘holding nation to ransom’

Hunter Valley Station borders Lake Wanaka (left) and Lake Hawea (right). Photo: Stephen Jaquiery/ODT

Hunter Valley Station borders Lake Wanaka(left) and Lake Hawea (right). Picture: Stephen Jaquiery/ODT Access to the Hawea Conservation Park might be cut off completely due to a stoush between the Federal government and the American tv personality Matt Lauer.

Matt Lauer. Picture Reuters

The anchor of NBC’s Today program, bought the lease to Hunter Valley Station on the coasts of Lake Hawea for $13 million last year.This followed a

trip here in 2016 which he raved about to The Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon on his return home.”I opted for enjoyable. I went with a buddy of

mine, we fished. Have you ever been to New Zealand? It’s the most spectacular nation on earth, in my opinion. It’s lovely, “Mr Lauer told the program host.” So I fished with a good friend,

and we remained in a hut-no electrical power, no running water, no facilities if you will.”His purchase of the lease

on the sheep station which rests on government-owned land was bitterly opposed at the time by the Federated Mountain Clubs president Peter Wilson.

“What we have actually successfully got, is we have a big land-locked location of preservation estate that the general public can’t get access to and this was the only opportunity to supply for that access.

“This is the biggest lakefront residential or commercial property in New Zealand, we cannot afford for this to be shut off to the public.”

Lauer, who was discarded by NBC over sexual misconduct claims, handled to make it through a great character test by New Zealand’s Overseas Investment Office (OIO).

The Strolling Gain access to Commission wishes to work out use of an unsealed roadway for trampers and hunters, however has apparently been told by Mr Lauer’s legal representative that it will need to pay him possibly countless dollars in compensation.Public gain access to supporter and

Central Otago resident Bruce Mason told Morning Report ongoing settlements in between the commission and his agents to and attempt and get access easement along the track have actually come to naught. “In effect, he’s holding the nation to ransom over this issue, “Mr Mason stated.”I think they’re not going to get anywhere unless they arrange of dumb down the proposal to suit all his needs which will suggest this gain access to will not be suitable for the public. “The had actually highlighted the concern of gain access to for the general public, which he has actually had to

provide in other locations on the land, however the commission was asking for another access point.Mr Mason said the area in question went from the area of the homestead around

the western shore of Lake Hawea and into Hunter Valley.”It’s a long way to go, it’s too far to walk,”he said.Mr Mason stated he was advising the

Federal government to action in and put an end to the problem.

“I believe the option which would be a quick repair for this … is for the Government to

quit on attempting to negotiate with this character and the Government uses powers as the property manager to resume the lengths of this road, could be a 20-metre strip, back into direct Crown ownership then right away gazette it as a public roadway, “he said.” I think it’s the only method there’s going to be progress. Voluntary settlements have got no place

, outcome is they could get an easement but it could be a very insecure one. The general public might be locked out at any time and there ‘d be no certainty.”