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Three More Tenure Reviews Settled

9 July, 2004 Three More Tenure Reviews Settled

Otago trampers and the public will have formal access to high country land at Ben Avon, Alphaburn and Glen Nevis Stations after three tenure reviews were recently completed and title issued to leaseholders.

The settlements add a further 10,500 hectares of high country to the conservation estate:

* at Ben Avon, the land returned to the conservation estate adjoins the southern boundary of the former Birchwood Station, recently purchased by the Nature Heritage Fund. It is also close to the former Quailburn property which completed tenure review earlier this year

* at Alphaburn, the public will have guaranteed public access to Roys Peak by way of a popular track currently used by about 11,000 people a year. The review also opens up a 10 km public walking route through from Damper Bay to Glendhu Bay on Lake Wanaka, likely to become a very popular and easy walking track along the southern shore of the lake. Two public car parking areas will also be provided

* at Glen Nevis, all of the Nevis valley will be protected, an area which contains significant red tussocklands and shrublands, and a significant altitudinal sequence from the Nevis River to the crest of the Hector Mountains. This is also a popular recreation and historical gold mining area and home to a range of threatened plant and invertebrate species and the native fish, the Nevis River Galaxiid

The Department of Conservation (DOC) is progressively signposting the new conservation areas and marking out access to the land.

Leaseholders at Ben Avon, Alphaburn and Glen Nevis now have freehold title to part of their land.

Land Information New Zealand Manager, Crown Property, Paul Jackson says Tenure Review has delivered results for the three properties.

"Leaseholder farmers who have never owned their land freehold get freehold title to part of it, the public conservation estate is increased and the public gets access to land on the three properties they have never had formal access to before."

Eight properties have now finished Tenure Review under the Crown Pastoral Land Act 1998: Ben Avon; Alphaburn; Glen Nevis; Mt Pisa I and II; Quailburn; Clayton; Ben Ohau.

Leaseholders of a further 22 properties have accepted final proposals for their leasehold land at Rhoboro Downs, Eastburn, Waitiri, Peak Hill, Dalrachney , Cairnhill, The Knobbies, Double Hill, Glenlapa, Otamatapaio, Merrivale, Geordie Hills, Long Acre, Nine Mile, Shirlmar, Timburn, Raglan Run, West Wanaka, Dome Hills (2 leases), Glen Dhu and Stonehurst.

Public access to the conservation areas is not available until implementation (survey, fencing of the land, final settlement) is complete and DOC signs are put in place.

In addition to the 22 leases for which final proposals have been accepted, a further 16 proposals are in their final stages of development.


Conservation benefits

Tenure Review delivers a range of conservation and other benefits to the New Zealand public. Each review has particular points of interest. Final outcome figures for Dalrachney, Double Hill, Peak Hill, Rhoboro Downs, Eastburn/Waitiri and the Knobbies/Cairnhill, Dome Hills, Glenlapa and Stonehurst may vary after the land has been surveyed.

Canterbury

Dalrachney

* Leaseholder accepted final LINZ proposal

Lease Area: 7,966 hectares

Outcomes * 2,594 hectares of Conservation Area extends the existing Lindis Pass Scenic Reserve further along the range. This area is highly visible from the main tourist route to the Southern Lakes and is one of the few tall tussock areas remaining next to a public highway. The area will allow good public access from the highway along the range. * One public access easement for access passes through the Conservation Area along Smiths Creek and to the Lindis River. This easement will eventually provide for round trips along farm tracks to the Ahuriri Valley.

Double Hill

* Leaseholder accepted final LINZ proposal

Lease Area: 7,811 hectares

Outcomes 4,898 hectares to become public conservation land consisting of:

* 4685 hectares as Conservation Area, covering the upper catchments of Double Hill, Glenariffe and Colonel Streams, the high altitude north-facing slopes of the Palmer Range around to and including Turtons Saddle, and the lower, west-facing slopes of Mt Catherine. This protects beech forest and shrublands in gullies, as well as tussock and high alpine tops. This is a popular recreation area for tramping, hunting, climbing and skiing.

* Several smaller Conservation Areas varying in size, totalling 212 hectares, protect the following areas and values; o Shrubland remnants on the south facing slopes of the 'notch' on Double Hill o The wetland at the mouth of the 'notch' on Double Hill o The wetland in the Glenariffe Stream area o The main spring-fed tributary of the Double Hill Stream and the associated wetlands

* Public access easements across various parts of the property will provide public access to the Conservation Areas and the various parts of Double Hill Stream, as well as to the Rakaia River.

Peak Hill

* Leaseholder accepted final LINZ proposal

Lease Area: 1,747 hectares

Outcomes * 590 hectares will become Conservation Area, containing the dominant Peak Hill, a distinctive sugarloaf of hard greywacke with commanding views across Lake Coleridge and the Rakaia River Catchment. This area extends from the shores of Lake Coleridge to Peak Hill and is predominately open tussock land with a few areas of shrubland and remnants of broadleaved species. * Two access easements allow access to the Conservation Area and the shores of Lake Coleridge as well as along part of the ridge leading to Mt Oakden

Rhoboro Downs

* Leaseholder accepted final LINZ proposal

Lease Area: 7,626 hectares

Outcomes * 3,000 hectares to become Conservation Area on the Ben Ohau Range protects the biodiversity of the range, which includes alpine tops, screes and tussock grasslands, as well as shrubland at lower altitudes. * Two public access easements through the property will give access to the Ben Ohau Range Conservation Area. This will provide linkages to other areas as well as the Ben Ohau range, for use by mountain-bikers and trampers. A short access route leads to Lake Pukaki.

For more information about Canterbury stations, contact the Department of Conservation, Canterbury Conservancy, Private Bag 4715, Christchurch, phone 03 379 9758.

Otago

Alphaburn

* Tenure Review complete * Title issued

Lease area: 4554 ha

Outcomes

Situated at the southern end of Lake Wanaka. It has a leasehold area of 4554 hectares and about one quarter (1249 hectares) is to become public conservation land. The conservation land, an important part of the natural landscape in the Wanaka area, ranges from the 1581 metre Roys Peak to a wetland at Scaifes Lagoon. The tenure review for Alphaburn provides for guaranteed public walking access to Roys Peak by way of a popular track currently used by about 11,000 people a year. The review also opens up a 10 km public walking route through from Damper Bay to Glendhu Bay on Lake Wanaka, likely to become a very popular and easy walking track along the southern shore of the lake. Two public car parking areas will also be provided as part of the review.

Ben Avon

* Tenure Review complete * Title issued

Lease Area: 8,300 hectares Outcomes

Ben Avon station, east of Lake Hawea, in the Ahuriri Valley, will pass over 4804 of its 8300 hectares to the conservation estate. It includes the high tops above the Ahuriri Valley and the upper Dingleburn Valley.

A wide range of forest, grassland and alpine vegetation in the area will become protected as a result of the review. This includes a 75 hectare scenic reserve protecting wetland remnants by the Ahuriri River, with three public access easements incorporated into the plan to give access to the conservation area, scenic reserve and Ahuriri River, as well as a conservation covenant protecting kettle holes containing unique turf plants on the Ahuriri Flats.

The land returned to the conservation estate through the Ben Avon tenure review adjoins the southern boundary of the former Birchwood Station, recently purchased by the Nature Heritage Fund. It is also close to the former Quailburn property which completed tenure review earlier this year. Public access to the new areas will be opened up once the necessary surveying, fencing, track work and signposting is completed

Dome Hills (two leases)

* Leaseholder accepted final LINZ proposal. Lease Area 7415 hectares.

Outcomes

* 1350 hectares will become conservation area. The area will protect part of the main range crest of the Kakanui Mountains between Mt Pisgah and Kakanui Peak and includes the upper catchment of north branch of the Kakanui River. The area contains very diverse plant communities including flush zones, high altitude tussock lands, shrublands and scree, rich in invertebrate life. Public access exists via legal road.

Eastburn/Waitiri

* Leaseholder accepted final LINZ proposal

Lease area: 11082 ha (two leases)

Outcomes § 5221 ha of public conservation land accessible from the Cromwell/Queenstown Highway at Roaring Meg consisting of; - 5202 ha Conservation Area - 9 ha Historic Reserve - 10 ha Recreation Reserve § A public access easement to Mt Colin, and the Crown Range Highway (the Wakatipu Basin - Wanaka road bisects the Conservation Area)

These areas are important for recreation within a setting of high natural value, with good access along state highway 89. The vegetation ranges from tall tussock grasslands to cushion field on the tops; not many state highways pass though tall snow tussock grassland.

Glenlapa

* Leaseholder accepted final LINZ proposal. Lease Area 4471 hectares.

Outcomes

* 550 hectares will become an addition to the adjacent East Dome Scenic Reserve and will protect additional beech forests containing, red, silver and mountain beech, montane and subalpine shrublands and snow tussocklands. The protection of this area further enhances the natural setting of the Mataura River, a popular angling river. * A public access easement to the new reserve additions improves access generally to the East Dome Scenic Reserve. * 15 hectares to become the Muddy Gully Historic Reserve which contains early 20th century goldmining relics in the Waikaia Valley, including tramways, water races and a restored race keepers hut.

Glen Nevis

* Tenure Review complete * Title issued

Lease area: 6674 ha

Outcomes

About two-thirds of the 6674 hectare Glen Nevis Station in the Nevis Valley east of Lake Wakitipu is to become conservation land. This includes protection of all of the Nevis Valley that was previously part of the pastoral lease. This area contains significant red tussocklands and shrublands, and a significant altitudinal sequence from the Nevis River to the crest of the Hector Mountains. This is also a popular recreation and historical gold mining area and home to a range of threatened plant and invertebrate species and the native fish, the Nevis River Galaxiid.

Stonehurst

* Leaseholder accepted final LINZ proposal Lease Area 2966 hectares

Outcomes

* 2070 hectares will become conservation area, located on the southern end of the Rock and Pillar Range. It contains subalpine shrublands, extensive plateau wetlands, snowtussock lands peneplain landform features. Threatened native animal species present include the New Zealand Falcon, giant alpine weta and other notable insect species and native galaxiid fish. * Conservation covenant that protects shrubland and broadleaf forest communities. * A public access easement from the Strath Taieri Plain to the range crest. * Formed legal road access via the Old Dunstan Road, an historic gold mining route linking Dunedin with the Central Otago Goldfields.

The Knobbies/Cairnhill

* Leaseholder accepted final LINZ proposal

Lease area: 7818 ha (two leases)

§ 1728 ha conservation area

The new conservation area adjoins the existing Manorburn Conservation Area, and has a legal road that is well formed and suitable for 2WD vehicles in dry weather. The Onslow Block which lies in the headwaters of the North Branch of the Teviot River between the Manorburn Conservation Area and the Lake Onslow Road contains a large expanse of rolling red tussock grasslands and wetland areas, dissected by a complex array of shallow water courses.

For more information about Otago Stations, contact the Department of Conservation, Otago Conservancy, P O Box 5244, Dunedin, phone 03 3 477 0677.

Tenure Review process

Tenure review is a complex process, which;

* Improves public access to the high country; Tenure Review can formalise and enhance public access. Leaseholder land is private property. Many leaseholders allow access onto pastoral lease land, but the public must ensure they have the leaseholder's permission * enables leaseholders to gain freehold title of high country land (except in those cases where all the land is proposed for conservation) * protects or retains high country land with 'significant inherent values' (e.g. land with historic, scientific, ecological and cultural characteristics) in Crown ownership and control. The land is then managed by the Department of Conservation (DOC).

Each tenure review of a particular lease follows the same process. The usual result is that some land is transferred to DOC management, and some land is freeholded by the leaseholder.

The Tenure Review process is a team effort. It is voluntary for the leaseholders and consultative, involving DOC, Fish and Game, Tangata Whenua, the leaseholder, other outdoor organisations and the public. LINZ manages the process, making sure it is followed correctly and that the information is available to all parties for the right outcome to occur.

Leaseholder property rights

Leaseholders have extensive property rights over leasehold land. A Crown pastoral lease gives the leaseholder the exclusive right to farm the land for 33 years with a perpetual right of renewal. Under a pastoral lease, leaseholders are subject to a range of restrictions on what they can do with the land: leases only allow grazing of the land for pastoral farming purposes. Leaseholders own any 'improvements' they make to the land (buildings, fences etc). Rental is based on the 'unimproved value' of the land.

Access to leasehold land by the public is by permission of the leaseholder. Under the Property Law Act, leaseholders are entitled to 'quiet enjoyment' of leasehold land. The farmer can sell their leasehold interest in the land (the remaining term of the lease) to another party, if they wish but they must obtain LINZ consent.

More information

More information on LINZ's Tenure Review programme is available on the LINZ site on the Crown Property/High Country Leases pages at www.linz.govt.nz (go straight to the information by clicking on the 'Find out about tenure review' link on the LINZ 'home' page):

* On the LINZ website you can: -track the progress of each lease in Tenure Review: those reviews at phase 9 or 10 are close to completion -see a full list of all high country leases: those in tenure review and those that are not in Tenure Review -view the overall state of Tenure Review -check the latest advertised tenure reviews

ENDS

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