A sign erected at a Kerikeri Rd property recently purchased by Kāinga Ora has been revealed as a hoax.
An official-looking sign erected at a Kerikeri property claiming a developer plans to build a six-storey apartment block for Kāinga Ora has been revealed as a hoax.
The sign, which uses a genuine Far North District Council submission form, appeared at 115 Kerikeri Rd, a property recently purchased by Kāinga Ora, formerly Housing New Zealand.
It claimed Gemscott King Ltd had applied for consent to build 30 apartments in a six-storey block on land bordered on three sides by Kerikeri Retirement Village. It gave an invalid email address for a Gemscott employee and a closing date of May 30 for submissions.
Gemscott is a development company that has applied for consent to build public housing for Kāinga Ora, including a three-storey, 12-apartment block on nearby Clark Rd.
A spokesman for Kāinga Ora said no resource consent application for any kind of building had been lodged for 115 Kerikeri Rd.
“That sign is most definitely fake news,” he said.
The Far North District Council website lists no current resource consent applications for 115 Kerikeri Rd. The last time a resource consent was granted for the property, to subdivide it into four lots, was in May 2021 — well before it was purchased by Kāinga Ora.
The sign has since been removed.
It appeared shortly before a public meeting called to discuss Kāinga Ora’s plans for Kerikeri drew a record crowd of just under 800 people to the Turner Centre. Another 375 people watched a live stream of the meeting.
It was revealed at last Wednesday’s public meeting that the council had decided to hand over to an independent commissioner the contentious decision of whether to publicly notify Gemscott’s Clark Rd resource consent application.
As earlier reported in the Advocate, the 115 Kerikeri Rd property was sold to Kāinga Ora in March for $2.75 million. It includes a four-bedroom house at the very rear of the almost 4000sq m section, but the rest is grass with no trees or buildings.
An Auckland developer’s plans for an eight-storey building on the site of the current John Butler Building caused an outcry in 2003 and sparked the formation of local town planning group Vision Kerikeri.
Vision Kerikeri, together with another community group, Our Kerikeri, organised Wednesday’s public meeting.