Maling makes dispute ending deal
Tasman mayoral candidate Kit Maling says his deal to resolve Waimea Village’s long-running dispute is integral to his electoral campaign.
He just wants the rent row between the village’s elderly residents and owners, Michael and Carolyn Wright, to stop.
Kit has signed a deal with Michael and Carolyn to purchase the property.
After making a non-refundable $7000 deposit out of his own pocket, Kit plans to sell shares to the residents before handing owner- ship and control over to them.
The deal is conditional on the residents dropping the court case they raised against the Wrights in May.
Kit said he had been trying to help the residents resolve a dispute between them and the Wrights for more than two years, and had ‘‘put his money where his mouth is’’.
He is currently a sitting Tasman District councillor.
He said the deal was not completely irrelevant to his mayoral campaign, but his profile would have already been high enough without it.
Voting for the local body election closes at noon on 12 October.
‘‘I announced my intention to run for mayor in February.
‘‘I’ve got signs up, I’ve been everywhere in the community for a long time.’’
‘‘At the end of the day I mightn’t win this election, but I’ll still have helped these people and I feel pretty good about that.’’
He said he included the condition about the court case because he ‘‘just wanted it to stop’’.
Michael and Carolyn issued a joint statement with Kit saying they were pleased with the offer.
‘‘This is a positive move, and we’re hoping that the acrimony can now be put behind us and that we can all move on. It has been a long and difficult process for everyone involved.’’
Neither Kit nor Michael and Carolyn would reveal the offer price earlier this week, citing confidentiality.
The deal will become unconditional 42 days from last Friday, with settlement 15 days after that. Michael said he would eventually pursue other business interests, but would take a rest first.
Kit said the plan would proceed if 100 of the homeowners each bought a share worth $8200. The village has around 250 residents who occupy 171 houses.
Kit planned to ‘‘shoulder-tap’’ five directors to run the company who would be paid a nominal $500 a year. A manager would be hired for 20 hours a week.
‘‘My ambition in this whole thing is to the make the problem go away. I don’t want to be a director, because I want to be the mayor.’’
Residents’ committee chairman Jerry Rowland refused to comment on the dropping of the court case, but said the deal itself was a ‘‘fantastic idea’’.
He said it would be up to the residents to come up with the share money on their own, saying some might turn to family or financing companies for help while others may not be interested.
There was no chance the committee’s ‘‘war chest’’ fund started to cover legal costs in the court case would be used to fund residents’ share purchases, he said.
Residents own their houses and pay rates to the Tasman District Council, but lease the land from Waimea Village 2005 Ltd.
A monthly rental fee covers management, administration, maintenance, repairs, taxes, the manager’s salary, accommodation, a vehicle, committee expenses, collection of green waste and rubbish, free bark, a courtesy van, and security.