29 November 2019
Land Information New Zealand has sold Vogel House in Lower Hutt to the Vogel family.
James and Jocelyn Vogel gifted Vogel House to the Crown in 1965 and it was an official residence for MPs, Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon and Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand.
LINZ managed the disposal of the property on behalf of the Crown from 2013, when it was decided it was no longer needed as a Crown property.
In 2016 applications for the property from interested parties, including one from the grandsons of the original owners, were declined. The Crown subsequently decided to sell the property on the open market.
Jocelyn Vogel's grandsons, Tim and Geoff Vogel, in April 2017 applied for a judicial review of the Crown’s decision not to offer the property to them on the grounds of emotional hardship.
In April 2018 the High Court found that the Crown’s interpretation of the relevant section of the Land Act should have considered emotional attachment under the test of hardship and directed the Commissioner of Crown Lands to reconsider the Vogels’ special circumstances.
LINZ commissioned an independent review, which recommended the land be offered to the Vogel family, with several conditions.
This was the first case where LINZ has had to consider emotional attachment grounds when determining hardship, where land had been gifted to the Crown, and there was no case law to guide the initial decision. This precedent-setting case will inform future decisions if a similar situation arises again.
Settlement for the property was on 11 October 2019.
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