Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Elderly West Coast Man To Lose 70% Of Farm In SNA ‘landgrab’.

An elderly West Coast man has appealed to the government not to take his land, after more than 70% of it was classed as a Significant Natural Area.

1/ Tony Barrett and Greymouth mayor Tania Gibson

86-year-old Tony Barrett lives alone on his 607ha block on the Arnold Valley Road, east of Greymouth.

Mr Barret's grandparents first leased the land near Notown from the government in the 1930's after it was cleared of trees, dug over and mined for gold by returned servicemen.

The Barretts left much of it undeveloped, and a large chunk of the formerly gorse-covered block is now regenerating native bush.

Under the new biodiversity rules, he and subsequent owners would need resource consent with DOC approval to fell trees, run stock, convert to dairy and possibly to pick moss.

In his submission on the government's draft National Policy Statement on Indigenous Biodiversity, Tony Barrett said the SNA designation effectively took most of his farm away from him.

"As an elderly New Zealander that has worked hard all my life, paid my taxes diligently and in general tried to contribute positively to society, I am saddened whilst in the sunset stage of my life to have to deal with this blatant attack on my property rights."

Mr Barret said because of the land-use restrictions to be placed on SNA's he was faced with the strong likelihood that his land would be virtually worthless.

"Who is going to pay market value on land when only 30% is available to be productively used? Any coast estate agents will confirm that rural land with stands of trees, and creeks on it command lower buyer interest because of the realities of the RMA and now this National Policy Statement. "

While he had no interest in selling his land, Mr Barrett asked if the government's actions were morally defensible.

"This is our family farm and as such it holds particular value and meaning to me. I object to being told by faceless people that I am not allowed to manage my farm responsibly as I and those before me have done..."

Greymouth Deputy Mayor Allan Gibson, who has known Mr Barrett since he trapped possums on his land 40 years ago, helped the elderly man write his submission, at Mr Barrett's request.

"He's pretty shattered. This whole SNA thing has ruined what bit of life he has left," Mr Gibson said.

The family had never farmed the land intensively, but had kept a few animals, and milled some trees over the years, while Mr Barrett who turned 86 last week, still picked a bit of sphagnum moss.

" He's been a hard-working man all his life; he's the last of three generations who've looked after the place and now they tell him what to do with his own land..I think that's communism."

The council had gone through the process of identifying SNA's 20 years ago, with DOC and an ecologist, Mr Gibson said.

But Mr Barrett who was a very private man had not allowed officials onto his land to inspect it, and the SNA designation had been the result of a desktop exercise.

"Some years ago the Barretts were offered the adjoining Crown block for nothing, by the government but the family turned it down because they had enough to look after.

"That block's now been converted to dairy but they want to "protect" Tony's, when 84% of the coast is already in the DOC estate. It's nuts. "

From the council's point of view, the SNA process would lower the district's rate take, Mr Gibson said.

"You can't do much with the (SNA) land so the value drops and the owners pay less in rates, and other ratepayers pick up the burden. This will mean the end of land development on the Coast," Mr Gibson predicted.

Submissions on the government's National Policy Statement on Indigenous Biodiversity (NPSIB) close on March 14 and councils must give effect to it in their Plans within five years.

West Coast mayors and chairs will discuss the impact on the region at their quarterly forum tomorrow. .

Meanwhile, the Regional Council will decide whether to sign off on its final list of scheduled wetlands on Thursday after a multi-million dollar process that took 15 years, and involved mediation and multiple appeals to the Environment Court.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Eric Zuesse: U.S. Empire: Biden And Kerry Gave Orders To Ukraine’s President

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at Strategic Culture On May 19th, an implicit international political warning was issued, but it wasn’t issued between countries; it was issued between allied versus opposed factions within each of two countries: U.S. and Ukraine. ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Budget Cockups In The Time Of Coronavirus: Reporting Errors And Australia’s JobKeeper Scheme

Hell has, in its raging fires, ringside seats for those who like their spreadsheets. The seating, already peopled by those from human resources, white collar criminals and accountants, becomes toastier for those who make errors with those spreadsheets. ... More>>


The Dig - COVID-19: Just Recovery

The COVID-19 crisis is compelling us to kick-start investment in a regenerative and zero-carbon future. We were bold enough to act quickly to stop the virus - can we now chart a course for a just recovery? More>>

The Conversation: Are New Zealand's New COVID-19 Laws And Powers Really A Step Towards A Police State?

Reaction to the New Zealand government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and resultant lockdown has ranged from high praise to criticism that its actions were illegal and its management chaotic. More>>


Keith Rankin: Universal Versus Targeted Assistance, A Muddled Dichotomy

The Commentariat There is a regular commentariat who appear on places such as 'The Panel' on Radio New Zealand (4pm on weekdays), and on panels on television shows such as Newshub Nation (TV3, weekends) and Q+A (TV1, Mondays). Generally, these panellists ... More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Welcome Deaths: Coronavirus And The Open Plan Office

For anybody familiar with that gruesome manifestation of the modern work place, namely the open plan office, the advent of coronavirus might be something of a relief. The prospects for infection in such spaces is simply too great. You are at risk from ... More>>

Caitlin Johnstone: Do You Consent To The New Cold War?

The world's worst Putin puppet is escalating tensions with Russia even further, with the Trump administration looking at withdrawal from more nuclear treaties in the near future. In addition to planning on withdrawing from the Open Skies Treaty ... More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Why Thinking Makes It So: Donald Trump’s Obamagate Fixation

The “gate” suffix has been wearing thin since the break-in scandal that gave it its birth. Since Watergate, virtually anything dubious and suggestive, and much more besides, is suffixed. Which brings us to the issue of President Donald Trump’s ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Ethics (and Some Of The Economics) Of Lifting The Lockdown

As New Zealand passes the half-way mark towards moving out of Level Four lockdown, the trade-offs involved in life-after-lockdown are starting to come into view. All very well for National’s finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith to claim that “The number one priority we have is to get out of the lockdown as soon as we can”…Yet as PM Jacinda Ardern pointed out a few days ago, any crude trade-off between public health and economic well-being would be a false choice... More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Brutal Choices: Anders Tegnell And Sweden’s Herd Immunity Goal

If the title of epidemiological czar were to be created, its first occupant would have to be Sweden’s Anders Tegnell. He has held sway in the face of sceptics and concern that his “herd immunity” approach to COVID-19 is a dangerous, and breathtakingly ... More>>


 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog