The grassed area at the end of Omanu street is known locally as ‘the domain’. Some maps record the area as having been a recreation reserve, a picnic area and it was a camp ground, but there is no information recording any declaration of it being a Domain. What we do know, is that it isn’t a part of Koitiata Domain Recreation Reserve. But let’s come back to the Omanu street ‘domain’ further on.
Koitiata Domain is the name given to the reserve area established in 1915 as a new ‘Seaside Resort’. In February 1917 it was officially titled as Koitiata Domain and Koitiata Township was established within it’s boundaries. As from May 1917 Koitiata Domain, including the village area, was administrated by the Rangitikei County Council, acting as the Koitiata Domain Board, and since 1989 by Rangitikei District Council.
Koitiata Domain is Crown land and when the village was created inside the reserve, the individual sections were leased from the Crown. In the early 1960’s an area of 15 acres (6Ha) was added to Koitiata Domain to allow for the eastern end of Wainui street to be developed. That area came from 6.5 acres of adjacent Crown land and 8.5 acres purchased from D.H.Simpson. When the village, including the residential sections, became freehold in the 1980’s, the Crown land within the village area also became freehold, and Rangitikei County Council became the owners. In May 2009 the name of the reserve area, less the area of the freeholded village, was officially amended to be Koitiata Domain Recreation Reserve.
Now, back to the other ‘domain’ in Omanu street. The western end, south of Omanu street, had been within the boundaries of Koitiata Domain from the beginning in 1915. The eastern end, to the rear and south of the Wainui street sections, was ‘left over’ from that land which had been acquired for the Wainui extension in the early 1960’s. When the freeholding happened in the 1980’s, it included all of the Omanu ”domain” area. It was at that point that the western end of the Omanu ‘domain’ became incorporated into the village, and the freehold title for all of that land area became owned by RCC, now Rangitikei District Council.
A 1974 report had predicted that further subdivisions for village expansion would be required, and in 1983, the RCC presented a proposal for a 55 section, three stage subdivision which included the Omanu ‘domain’ area. Well, talk about lead balloons and cats and pigeons stuff! After “an opportunity to discuss the repercussions” RCC changed the plans and elevated the Omanu ‘domain’ area to the bottom of the pile and Rapaki street area to the top.
In 1992 someone approached council about buying all of the Omanu ‘domain’ land, and again the cat was released and feathers ruffled. From the 1993 annual report of the KRC; “… meeting followed a February petition signed by 62 residents opposed to the sale and development of the area … District Council shelved the matter.”
The notes from that February 1993 meeting with RDC, and the other documents, are very informative of the status of that block of land, and the protections in place relative to sale or development. But, not informative enough for some! In 1998 something or someone was the catalyst for an exchange of letters between KRC and RDC, which appeared to be an attempt to get on record, a hard and fast undertaking by council to not develop or sell ‘the domain’. It didn’t happen.
Warning: another village myth exposure! When the designs for subdivisions were prepared, there were no sections surveyed within the Omanu street ‘domain’ area. The ‘Plan A’ and ‘Plan B’ maps were proposals only.
So locally the area will continue to be know as ‘the domain’. Until it is used, maybe some time in the future, to expand our village. And then there will be only the original Koitiata Domain.
The documents and maps referred to can be viewed below; to access use the OPEN button. If the site’s separate viewer window opens, it can be closed via your browser’s back arrow/command.
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