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Govt Pays A High Price For Birchwood Station

Govt Pays A High Price For Birchwood Station

Wednesday 28 Jan 2004 Gerry Eckhoff Press Releases -- Rural

The Labour Government has driven the price of land to extraordinary new heights in the purchase of Birchwood Station, ACT New Zealand Rural Affairs Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff said today.

"It has paid approximately $1,250 per stock unit, which is over double the price paid for most farming properties of that type. Even the very best farms are sold at figures nearer $500-600 per stock unit, until now," Mr Eckhoff said.

"Instead of blaming wealthy North American and Asian businessmen, it's the Government that has set a new benchmark for high country property. All pastoral lessees can now look forward to having their conservation land valued at similar levels when the Crown undertakes its tenure review of 300 pastoral leases.

"Given the high level the Crown has placed on the lessees' interest in Birchwood Station's conservation values, the taxpayer can now look forward to spending another $300 million on top of the estimated tenure review cost of $2.3 billion.

"In return, the taxpayer receives ownership of land formally under the stewardship of on-site owners. For all intents and purposes, the Conservation Department is an absentee owner who calls on the taxpayer for funding - likely to be $300 million this year," Mr Eckhoff said.


For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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