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Labour's High Country Cleansing Continues

Labour's High Country Cleansing Continues

Monday 26 Jan 2004 Gerry Eckhoff Press Releases -- Rural

Today's transfer of Birchwood Station, to the Conservation estate, is just another example of Labour's misguided strategy to cleanse the South Island high country of farming activity, ACT New Zealand Rural Affairs Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff said today.

"The owners of Birchwood are to be congratulated for their outstanding stewardship of this property - which, I fear, DOC will be unable to emulate," Mr Eckhoff said.

"The interesting aspect of this sale is that the Government is driving up the value of the `lessee's interest' in every pastoral lease in the South Island. By paying $10 million for the lessee's interest, the Crown has indicated it recognises the lessee has the greatest amount of equity in a pastoral lease - despite the Crown technically owning the land. However, the question remains: is this a good use of taxpayers' money?

"No doubt the preservation lobby will applaud the acquisition of Birchwood - but it is highly significant that no farming interest would respond to this with anything but dismay at the loss of yet another iconic high country property," Mr Eckhoff said.


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