Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Robson’s Appointment Good News For High Country

Matt Robson’s Appointment Good News For High Country

Hon. Matt Robson’s appointment as Minister for Land Information is welcome news for the South Island high country, the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society said today.

“The Alliance’s foreign investment policies are a useful basis for new controls preventing the alienation of the high country lands, including pastoral leases, to overseas interests,” Forest and Bird field officer, Eugenie Sage said.

“Forest and Bird hopes that the new Minister will seek to implement Alliance policy through new directions to the Overseas Investment Commission that the sale of high country lands and pastoral leases is not in the national interest and should not be approved.”

The 360 odd pastoral leases in the South Island high country cover 2.5 million ha, 9 % of New Zealand’s land area. Individual pastoral leases embrace large areas (eg Canterbury’s 74,000 ha St James Station) and include mountain ranges, lakes, wetlands, large areas of beech forest and shrublands as well as tussock grasslands. “They have outstanding conservation, landscape and recreation values which are nationally important,” Ms Sage said.

“The sale of high country lands to often absentee foreign owners (eg the recent sale of the 1,151 ha Glencree Station in Marlborough to a USA family trust for a safari game park) can compromise conservation values and obstruct public access for tramping , hunting and fishing.

“The two most high profile Canterbury properties where access for hunting and tramping has been a problem (Glenhope and Lilybank) are both foreign owned,” Ms Sage said.
.
“The low value of the New Zealand dollar means pastoral leases are a “steal” for overseas buyers wanting large lifestyle properties in spectacular landscapes as retreats or to establish exclusive safari hunting, fishing, mountain biking, fishing and other commercial recreation and tourism ventures.

“Wealthy foreign owners can be reluctant to enter or proceed with tenure review, thereby frustrating the establishment of new tussock grassland parks and reserves in the high country,” she said.

Tenure review is the key mechanism for protecting tussock grasslands, shrublands and forest and other high value areas on pastoral lease lands. The tenure review process involves free-holding productive, modified lands in exchange for removing lands with high conservation and ecological values from the lease and transferring these to the Department of Conservation.

The Alliance’s November 1999 foreign investment policy seeks stronger controls on ownership or control of land. These include ensuring that “land having a special nature or character in a significant location is not owned or controlled by overseas persons” and that “traditional public rights of access for hunting, fishing, shooting and tramping are maintained”. The policy also seeks to ensure that land ownership or control is restricted to New Zealand citizens, permanent residents or companies or bodies with a minimum of 50 % New Zealand shareholding.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Child Poverty Monitor: Food Poverty Due To Inadequate Income, Housing Cost

The latest Child Poverty Monitor released today by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner reveals alarming facts about children suffering the impacts of family income inadequacy, says Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG).

The report found that one in five children under the age of 15 - amounting to between 161,000 and 188,000 children - experience moderate-to-severe food insecurity, meaning they can’t count on having regular nutritious meals. More>>

 

Open Government: Proactively Release Of Ministerial Diaries

All Government Ministers will for the first time release details of their internal and external meetings, Minister for State Services (Open Government) Chris Hipkins announced today. More>>

ALSO:

Billion Trees: Questions Over Shanes Jones Carbon Claims

“Officials estimate the actual value of the One Billion Trees (OBT) scheme will be just a third of the amount Mr Jones claimed, at about $900 million, and that he padded the number by including $800 million of ETS benefits and $1 billion of business-as-usual activity..." More>>

'Sovereignty Concerns': Plans To Sign UN Migration Pact

New Zealand is likely going to sign up to a United Nations migration pact this week as long as it can iron out a concern around sovereignty. More>>

ALSO:

Most Vulnerable Face Most Risk: Sea Level Rise Threatens Major Infrastructure

The burden of sea-level rise will weigh on the most vulnerable unless a new approach is developed and legislated, a new report says. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Pope Of Parliament

’Tis the season of goodwill towards all humankind… except it would seem, towards the Speaker of Parliament... More>>

ALSO:

Abortion: Hundreds March To Call For Decriminalisation

About 300 protesters marched to Parliament this afternoon calling on MPs to vote in favour of decriminalising abortion. A recent report by the Law Commission to the government recommended removing it from the Crimes Act. More>>

ALSO:

Secondary Negotiations: PPTA Rejects 'Another Inadequate Offer'

Hard on the heels of an overwhelming rejection of the government’s second offer, the union’s representatives did not believe that the latest offer was good enough to take out to members... More>>

ALSO:

eGates And Social Security: PM Meets With Korean President Moon Jae-In

Our shared values and challenges, the situation on the Korean Peninsula and the opportunity to do more together were features of the meeting between Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in today in Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels