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Criticism Of Tenure Review Misguided

1 August 2006
Criticism Of Tenure Review Misguided

High Country farmers are disappointed that some groups continue to criticise the tenure review process despite the steady progress that has been made, said Donald Aubrey, chair of the South Island High Country Committee.

Mr Aubrey’s comments follow the stream of criticism about the South Island land tenure review. The latest example of this criticism relates to Richmond Pastoral Lease, on the shores of Lake Tekapo.

Richmond is 9567 hectares and after a comprehensive review over eight years, around 40 percent of this land is proposed to pass to the Department of Conservation.

“In the case of Richmond Station there are no subdivision plans. Despite this, Forest & Bird is objecting to the tenure review on the basis there might be plans to subdivide. It is objecting to something that hasn’t even happened and this is both inappropriate and unreasonable,” said Mr Aubrey.

To date the South Island land tenure review has resulted in the following:

- More than 50 pastoral leases are to be discontinued as a result of agreement between lessees and the Crown.

- A 50/50 split between Crown land and land to be freeholded is reflected in figures to date.

- Agreements reached mean that more than 133,400 hectares have been added to DoC’s estate.

- New conservation parks have been established as a direct result of the goodwill of the lessees.

“The critics fail to recognise that it is because of the stewardship of farmers that the land is sought after for its conservation values,” said Mr Aubrey.

The South Island High Country Committee is an industry group within Federated Farmers of New Zealand Inc.

ENDS

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