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In 1990, the government introduced policies to encourage its departments to sell uneconomic assets. Paraparaumu Aerodrome, run by the Ministry of Transport (MOT), was assessed as being uneconomic and therefore suitable for sale.
In 1995, the government completed the sale to a private owner – but not without controversy. Some community members were concerned that the aerodrome might close after the sale. Questions were also raised about the adequacy of consultation with Māori and former owners of aerodrome land.
In the years after the sale, the new owner sold some aerodrome land, reigniting users' concerns about the facility's future. In 2002, they petitioned Parliament to safeguard the airport's long-term viability.
As a result, the Office of the Auditor-General (OAG) investigated the sale – 10 years after the fact. It found that the consultation and sale processes were acceptable on the whole, although it did recommend some improvements.