Department of Conservation enables arbitration when rents disputed by licensees occupying foreshore reserve in Marlborough Sounds

Ombudsmen Act 1975
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Ombudsmen Act 1975
Government Department
Sir John Robertson
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Foreshore rentals charged—lack of appeal mechanism—Department of Conservation agreed to establish a rental arbitration clause in the Marlborough Sounds foreshore licences to enable licensees to challenge rental increases where conflict arose—Ombudsman did not uphold the complaint (about level of rental increase) but the outcome achieved ensures rental increases can be challenged in future    

This case arose out of an investigation into the increasing level of rent being charged by the Department of Conservation for licences to occupy foreshore reserve in the Marlborough Sounds. The complaint about the level of rental was not upheld. However, the question arose about there being no independent appeal mechanism to which licensees could resort when there was a conflict of opinion about the rental set.

The Director General of Conservation was invited to establish an independent appeal process to cater for future reviews of rentals. After discussion on the most appropriate form of appeal, it was accepted by the Minister of Conservation that a rental arbitration clause would be included in the Marlborough Sounds foreshore licences and apply to future reviews of rental.

This case note is published under the authority of the Ombudsmen Rules 1989. It sets out an Ombudsman’s view on the facts of a particular case. It should not be taken as establishing any legal precedent that would bind an Ombudsman in future.

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