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Awatere Valley Tenure Review Proposal

7 September 2006

Awatere Valley Tenure Review Proposal a Travesty and Waste of Public Money

New Zealand Deerstalkers’ Association (NZDA) has joined Forest and Bird in rejecting Land Information New Zealand’s (LINZ) latest Tenure Review proposal for the Blairich pastoral lease in the lower Awatere Valley in Southern Marlborough. This is because the proposal is a travesty of the Crown Pastoral Lands Act (CPLA).

Dr Hugh Barr, spokesman for NZDA said “Only a miniscule 230 Ha (7%) of this mountainous 3,172 Ha lease is proposed for surrender to public parkland. Southern Marlborough is noted for its rare and different native dryland species. Yet the two areas on this lease identified as important for their native ecology values are not to be made public reserves, but are proposed for privatisation.

Worse they are being treated as grazing covenants, with very high sheep and cattle grazing pressure proposed. Grazing allowed at the pressure LINZ proposes would be the death warrant of any palatable native species in these covenants. How LINZ can countenance grazing pressure at this level on mountain land that is primarily scree (rocky) slope is beyond us.” Dr Barr said.

“To see how outlandish this proposal is” Dr Barr said “the grazing limits LINZ proposes for the two areas, totalling 435 Ha, are between 45 and 55 times the browsing pressure the Department of Conservation (DOC) normally requires for wild species such as deer and tahr”.

And public access across land proposed for freeholding is minimalist and unsatisfactory, again failing the requirements of the CPLA” Dr Barr said.

“I am amazed LINZ has no quality assurance vetting procedures in place to stop travesties like this being put forward” Dr Barr said. “This would be normal practice in most businesses, to stop wasting money. It also wastes the public’s time to be consulting on a proposal that obviously does not meet the requirements of the CPLA.”

“It is further graphic evidence that LINZ’s Tenure Review process is out-of-control, and a blatant waste of taxpayer money. It is about time Lands Minister David Parker told LINZ to behave, and correctly apply the principles of the Act.”

It is also time these secret deals got some public scrutiny, with public knowledge of the large payments of public money the Crown is making to lessees.” Dr Barr said. ENDS

Further information: Dr Hugh Barr, National Advocate, New Zealand Deerstalkers’ Association 04 934 2244, 025 686 0063 hugh@infosmart.co.nz

See also Forest and Bird Media release of 6 September “Conservation misses out again in latest High Country privatisation” contact Eugenie Sage 03 366 6317

David Parker, Minister of LINZ: “No decision yet on Blairich Station” 6 Sept www.beehive.govt.nz/parker

New Zealand Deerstalkers’ Association Incorporated (NZDA) is the national body of recreational deerstalkers and other big game hunters. We have 53 branches and hunting member clubs throughout New Zealand. We have 7200 members, and have been actively advocating for recreational deerstalking and hunting, running hunter training courses, trips, conferences etc since 1937. We maintain ethical standards for hunting.

ENDS

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