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Federated Farmers Supports Forest Amendment Act

11 August 1999

Federated Farmers National Board member Chris Lester today supported the Forest Amendment Bill currently before the Transport and Environment Select Committee.

"This bill unequivocally recognises the property rights of owners of land subject to the South Island Landless Natives Act 1906 (SILNA)," Mr Lester said.

Mr Lester was speaking after he presented the Federated Farmers of New Zealand submission to the Select Committee.

"Federated Farmers supports this Bill, which will bring the SILNA forests into a sustainable management regime on a voluntary basis."

Mr Lester said, "The federation supports the Bill, and believes that the principles behind the Bill are extremely important, and should be extended to all affected landowners."

"Federated Farmers of New Zealand vigorously opposed the 1993 Forest Amendment Act as it ripped away forest owners' property rights. This bill avoids this injustice, but only for a those owners affected by the South Island Landless Natives Act."

"Federated Farmers applauds Minister Luxton's vision that will see a sustainable forest management regime that is dependent upon agreements being struck between the Crown and affected parties."

"In essence, the Minister has recognised landowners' voluntary efforts to sustainably manage their land and for those owners to seek compensation as part of entering into a voluntary agreement. The arbitrary removal of landowners' rights under the 1993 Act removed a great deal of goodwill."

"The key to environmental management and maintaining the integrity of New Zealand's biodiversity is using the goodwill of landowners and their voluntary efforts. The principles behind this Bill should be extended through further legislation to cover both Maori landowners and other landowners alike," Mr Lester concluded.

ENDS

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