Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) says it is searching for beneficiaries of Matilda Amelia Gunnell who, despite passing away more than 90 years ago, still owns a small piece of land earmarked for the Canterbury Multi-Use Arena.
LINZ is responsible for acquiring land required for the city’s anchor projects and has acquired almost all the sites needed for the $470 million arena. One that remains is a tiny strip of land – a half share of five square metres – at 240 Hereford Street, Christchurch, which belongs to Mrs Gunnell.
LINZ Group Manager Business Strategy Lydia Bloy says the property was never transferred or dealt with by Mrs Gunnell’s estate. Multiple attempts have been made to find beneficiaries of Mrs Gunnell, including enlisting the help of experts The Property Group and a genealogist.
“Unfortunately, our efforts haven’t revealed any potential living beneficiaries, but we wanted to give it one last try before acquiring the property on behalf of the Crown. LINZ is inviting anyone who believes they are a beneficiary or successor of Matilda Gunnell to contact them.”
The Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Megan Woods, has the power under the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act 2016 to start compulsory acquisition of the property to progress regeneration works. Without any beneficiaries or sucessors, this is the only way to acquire this strip of land. The first step in the process is to publish a Notice of Intention which, following Dr Woods’ approval, has now been done.
LINZ invites anyone who can prove they may have a legal or equitable interest in the land to contact their Christchurch office on 0800 665 463.