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

 

Crown's u-turn on high country land rejected

Media release High Country Accord

31 October 2008

Crown's u-turn on high country land rejected by High Court

A High Court judgement has ruled against the Crown for reneging on a deal to offer a special lease to a group of high country farmers.

In 2003 the Commissioner of Crown Lands (CCL) decided to grant a special lease on the expiry of a pastoral occupation licence to the group, known as the Soldiers' Syndicate.

In 2005 the CCL changed his mind and decided to designate the land, comprising 4,400 hectares in the Hawkdun and Ida ranges near Ranfurly in Otago, as a conservation area. The syndicate appealed to the High Court and was vindicated by the decision released yesterday (30 October).

Syndicate spokesman Philip Smith said, "We are elated by the verdict and are thrilled that the court has overturned what we consider to be a bad faith decision by the Crown.

"The farmers now have more confidence that their livelihoods will not be threatened by a unilateral decision to transfer to the Department of Conservation (DoC) land that they have grazed and managed for nearly 100 years."

High Country Accord Chairman Ben Todhunter also welcomed the decision.

"This is one of three court cases where high country farming families are defending their legal rights against the Crown, or Crown entities.

"Basically, you have a government determined to convert tussock grasslands that have been grazed by farmers for generations into high country parks and reserves. Because the government hasn't been able to achieve this on the scale it wants through good faith bargaining, ministers and the agencies that report to them, have been abusing legal processes."

In the review of tenure of a pastoral occupation licence such as that granted to the Soldiers' Syndicate, the Crown must consult DoC before designating land.

Mr Todhunter said this effectively meant that once the decision has been made by the Commissioner, DoC cannot then have "another bite of the cherry".

The Commissioner of Crown Lands is not obliged to consult with the landholder, but the court ruled that, having made a decision, the Crown could not renege on the deal made to the syndicate.

Hon. Justice French ruled that the Commissioner must give effect to the decision made and conveyed to the syndicate. Her ruling also stated that the interpretation of the Crown Pastoral Land Act 1998 by the syndicate was more consistent with the overall scheme of Part 3 of the Act, and with common sense, than the interpretation by the Crown.

The case is the first where a court has been asked to rule on the interpretation of Part 3 of the Act, which deals with reviews of land held under a non-renewable occupation licence.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Our Unreal Optimism About The Economic Impact Of Coronavirus

At this week’s Chinese New Year celebrations, PM Jacinda Ardern was resolutely upbeat that business with China would soon bounce back to normal – better than ever, even - once the coronavirus epidemic has been brought under control. To Ardern, the adversity has only accentuated just how close we are to Beijing Nothing wrong with being upbeat, if it can calm the nerves and turn business sentiment into a self-fulfilling prophecy. The problems begin when the optimism detaches itself from reality. What has been very odd so far about the coronavirus episode is that global share markets – normally spooked by mere sneezes or sniffles in the world’s major economies - have continued to be fairly positive, even as the epidemic has unfolded... More>>

First Published on Werewolf here


 

Gordon Campbell: On The Political Donations Scandals
Even paranoids have real enemies. While there has been something delusionary about the way New Zealand First has been living in denial about its donations scandal, one can sympathise with its indignation about Paula Bennett and Simon Bridges being among its chief accusers. More>>

ALSO:

UN Expert: NZ Housing Crisis Requires Bold Human Rights Response

This is a press statement from UN Special Rapporteur on the right to housing at the end of her 10-day visit to New Zealand. The Government of New Zealand has recognized that the country is facing a housing crisis, said Leilani Farha, UN Special Rapporteur ... More>>

ALSO:

2020 And Beyond: National’s Economic Plan

National Leader Simon Bridges has today outlined National’s economic plan heading into election 2020. “National understands the economy and how it impacts on New Zealanders day to day lives... More>>

ALSO:

Abortion Legislation Committee: Abortion Bill Report Presented To The House

The Abortion Legislation Committee has presented its report on the Abortion Legislation Bill to the House. A copy of the report is available here. The bill seeks to have abortion services provided like other health services... More>>

ALSO:


Auditor-General's Report : Water Management

The Auditor-General’s report Reflecting on our work about water management was presented to the House of Representatives today. Over the last two years we have been looking at how well public organisations are carrying out their water management ... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels