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

 

Step Forward In High Country Protection

Friday 16 November 2007

A Major Step Forward In The Protection Of New Zealand’s High Country Heritage

The recent decision by the Minister of Land Information, David Parker to withdraw from the voluntary tenure review process on 65 lakeside high country properties in the South Island is welcomed and supported by Stop Tenure Review.

It believes this decision will also be supported by thousands of New Zealanders who are concerned by the continuing sell-off of thousands of hectares of high country under tenure review.

Stop Tenure Review is opposed to the privatisation of high country pastoral leases. It has warned about the subdivision of freehold land, particularly around prime lakeshores, degradation of biodiversity values, the possible destruction of classic high country landscapes, and grossly inequitable deals in terms of the public’s economic interest in tenure review agreements.

It believes that over the medium term there is a grave risk that lakeshore land, such as around Lakes Wanaka, Wakatipu and Tekapo, would be vulnerable to commercial development and sale to absentee owners. There is also concern that would mean even greater restrictions to public access than exists at the present time.

“The best protection for this lakeshore landscape is to keep it in public ownership under leasehold, and the Government has seen the logic of this approach, “says spokesperson Gottlieb Braun-Elwert .

“Once it is privatised, there is just not enough protection for this land under District Schemes and the RMA to prevent subdivision, and the destruction of our common heritage and a national asset.”

Stop Tenure Review notes similar concerns about protection of the common interest in Federated Farmers’ deliberations over ownership and control of Fonterra. Protection of thousands of hectares of prime pastoral lease is, in principle, a similar issue it believes.

The decision by the Government to negotiate over the reduction of increased rentals, following a change in how leases are valued, is also supported by Stop Tenure Review. This is an equitable way to compensate lessees for the protection of biodiversity or improved walking access.

Stop Tenure Review agrees with the Minister that the amenity values of a lease should be included in its valuation under section 131 of the Land Act 1948. Amenity values are one of the main reasons why the market value of high country pastoral land has rocketed in price compared to other farmland in recent years, and why leases have sold for millions of dollars.

To leave this factor out of any rental calculation, or valuation under tenure review, has resulted over many years in a major discounting of the public’s economic interest over nearly two million hectares of publicly owned land, or around 20% of the South Island.

Stop Tenure Review believes that this latest decision goes a long way to establishing the first priority of the Government’s objectives for the high country; that is to manage pastoral leases in a way that is ecologically sustainable for future generations of New Zealanders.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>

 

Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election