Whatuwhiwhi locals protest council's agreement to lease reserve land to Chinese developers

A fight is looming in the far north town of Whatuwhiwhi after the council agreed to lease reserve land to Chinese developers.

Local protesters are arguing no one should be making money out of the pristine public property, which has been used by the Whatuwhiwhi campground for years to manage the overflow under a "gentlemen's agreement" with the council. 

The Far North District Council has now agreed to formally lease the 1600 square metre section to the new campground owners, Carrington Jade, for five years starting this summer.

They bought the campsite two years ago, after it's parent company Shanghai Cred purchased the nearby Carrington Estate for $28 million, with the intent to turn it into the country's biggest tourism resort. 

Protest organiser Caroline Snowden told 1 NEWS it is public land and therefore, "belongs to ".

"The local children would actually come down here and play on the park and what happened was the owner's would actually tell them they would have to leave, that they can't play here," Ms Snowden said.

The campground owners didn't want to discuss the deal with 1 NEWS and neither did the Far North District Council but the protesters insist they will do what it takes until their objection is heard. 

"We are not moving, we are not going anywhere. They need to sort something out and they need to sort it out smartly," Ms Snowden said. 

Carrington Jade bought the local campsite two years ago and plan to lease reserve land with plans to create the country's biggest tourism resort. Source: 1 NEWS