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What's Eckhoff's High Country agenda?

12 May 2005

What's Eckhoff's High Country agenda?

ACT MP Gerry Eckhoff has today made yet another series of bizarre claims says Minister for Land Information Pete Hodgson.

Eckhoff claims a report on mineral resources in the high country is being 'suppressed' when it is freely available to anybody that wants it from Land Information New Zealand (LINZ). Indeed, a number of media outlets already have it.

Eckhoff also resuscitates the tired old line that the tenure review process is a land grab when the fact is that the Crown already owns all the land subject to the process. By definition, the Crown cannot 'grab' what it already owns. Eckhoff then appears to attack the very process (tenure review) through which high county leaseholders can obtain freehold title to the land.

Eckhoff is also wrong to assert that minerals cannot be recovered from land in the Conservation Estate. That's simply not true. Around 90 per cent of applications for access arrangements for mining on conservation land are approved, usually with environmental conditions.

ENDS

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