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Federated Farmers Supports Open Market Purchase

26 January 2004

PR 015/04

Federated Farmers Supports Open Market Purchase

Federated Farmers hopes the purchase of Birchwood Station is a clear signal that the Government is recognising the true value of New Zealand's high country under private management, says John Aspinall, National Board Member, Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc).

Conservation Minister Chris Carter announced today that the Nature Heritage Fund has bought Birchwood Station in North Otago for $10 million.

"The purchase of Birchwood Station appears to be a fair market sale on a

willing seller- willing buyer basis and highlights the value of the lessee's interest in pastoral lease properties.

"It is positive that the Government is prepared to pay market prices to purchase high country property to gain their network of parks.

"The sale of Birchwood also helps to establish a market value for significant indigenous values managed by private landowners. This is a positive step forward.

"The challenge now is for the Government to show that it can continue to manage the significant natural values on Birchwood Station to the standards that the landowners, the Williamson family, have set over several generations," Mr Aspinall concluded.

ENDS


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