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Response to Forest & Bird on tenure review

Hon David Parker
Minister for Land Information

21 September 2006

Response to Forest & Bird on tenure review

Land Information minister David Parker rejects Forest & Bird's claim that tenure review originally promised a 50-50 split between conservation and freehold land.

"The previous government predicted that 40 percent of tenure review land would go to conservation and 60 percent would be freeholded. In fact, the actual figure to date is 42 percent to conservation, and 58 freeholded."

The Minister noted that tenure review has achieved positive results for the New Zealand public, notably towards the establishment of high country parks.

"So far the Labour-led government has created five high country parks by linking existing conservation land with land coming into protection from tenure review, and from the purchase of Birchwood Station."

“Tenure review also protects biodiversity, mountain landscapes, tussocklands, and freshwater catchments, and gives the public much better access to these areas than they had before,” David Parker said.

However, as he has indicated previously, the Minister is looking at the process.

"For example, I acknowledge there are concerns around landscape values, especially around lakesides, and I have directed officials to take a fresh look at those issues."

"I also now see all tenure review proposals before they become final, to give me an opportunity to comment."

Forest & Bird is also critical of the financial settlements reached in tenure review.

"The government is reviewing whether rent-setting methodology is being conducted in accordance with the law, which has implications for tenure review. Results from this review should be released shortly," Mr Parker said.

ENDS


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