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High country farmers to be hit by rent hikes

Hon David Carter MP
National Party Agriculture Spokesman

13 October 2006

High country farmers to be hit by rent hikes

The Labour-led Government's shocking plan to hike the rents of high country leases is a huge blow to these farmers, says National Party Agriculture spokesman David Carter.

"Little wonder that Labour sat on the Donn Armstrong report for nearly a year.

"But the problem is not so much with the report; the problem is with the Government's response.

"Land Information Minister David Parker has argued that the Crown believes that rents should go up because of increased market demand for the 'amenity values' that high country landscapes offer.

"But are sheep going to be more profitable because they have a panoramic high country view?

"I am also concerned that the proposed 'consultation' will be little more than a sham - given there's only a paltry nine-week period during which people can make submissions.

"The Government has been dishonest with farmers, who should be outraged.

"This is all about hiking the rents so that tenure review process is no longer voluntary, as was the original commitment between the Government and high country farmers. The next move following rent hikes will be to make tenure review compulsory."


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