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Tenure Review Processes Debilitating

Tenure Review Processes Debilitating and Frustrating

Trying to make the Tenure Review Process work has been a difficult and on going challenge for the South Island High Country Committee. Tenure Review was the key agenda item outlined by the Chairman, Alistair Ensor at the Committee's annual conference in Christchurch on 11th and 12th June.

Mr Ensor reported that the Committee has not been idle. "With help from the Commissioner of Crown Lands and senior staff at Land Information New Zealand the foundation had been laid for a much more productive year coming up."

The Tenure Review Process was commenced in 1998 following the enactment of the Crown Pastoral Land Act. It provided a system for undertaking a review of perpetual leases which allows for landowners to be granted security of title for farm land and the stewardship of land unsuitable for farming passed to the Department of Conservation.

"Most farmers have found the review process frustrating, and have had difficulty containing their anger with its complexity and slowness. There have been numerous delays and rewrite of the legal documents.

Nevertheless, I believe we can make Tenure Review work," said Mr Ensor. "Significant process has been made towards developing a communication strategy and a forum established for problem solving with Land Information New Zealand.

"The implications of this debilitating on-going saga on farm business and succession planning are serious. There must be recognition that if the pastoral enterprise is not left with a robust economic base the enterprise will suffer and the much-valued stewardship that farmers have provided the High Country lost. It will be a real challenge to get an outcome that truly benefits integrated land management rather than lines on a map that will be regretted by the whole nation in years to come.

ENDS

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