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LINZ comment on Federated Farmers press release

LINZ comment on Federated Farmers press release

LINZ has issued the following statement about the Federated Farmers press release of 11 April 2008 on the forthcoming Land Valuation Tribunal hearing on the pastoral lease rent review for Minaret Station.

The comments can be attributed to Brian Usherwood, General Manager Business Support, Land Information New Zealand.

The Federated Farmers press release "Government Stalls High Country Rent Hearings", issued on 11 April, did not accurately reflect the situation regarding the forthcoming Land Valuation Tribunal (LVT) hearing on the rent review for Minaret Station.

In 2006 the Crown and the High Country Accord agreed to conduct a test case to resolve a disagreement on the valuations obtained by the Commissioner of Crown Lands to establish pastoral lease rents. Minaret Station was subsequently agreed as being the appropriate property for the test case.

Given the importance of the matter, the Commissioner of Crown Lands engaged a QC in July 2007 to represent it at the LVT hearing. The Accord had already engaged a QC and the Commissioner felt it was appropriate that the Crown had equally senior representation.

The availability of the Crown’s QC has had no bearing on the date on which the LVT hearing is to be held, as Federated Farmers has alleged.

Due to the lessee's QC requesting a two-week fixture, the case was set down for October 2008. This was the earliest the Judge was available for a hearing of that length.

At no point has the Commissioner tried to delay the process as Federated Farmers has alleged. The Commissioner has done everything possible to move the hearing process along.

In general, the Commissioner has been trying to progress all rent reviews that lessees have referred to the LVT. However, lessees have decided to wait for the outcome of the Minaret Station hearing before having their cases heard.

You can attribute these comments to Brian Usherwood, General Manager Business Support, Land Information New Zealand.

ENDS


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