FMC disputes Minister lowly valuing Denniston Plateau
Federated Mountain Clubs disputes Minister lowly valuing Denniston Plateau
Invercargill, 24 May 2013
FMC vehemently disagrees with Conservation Minister Nick Smith dismissing Denniston Plateau, which he has just allowed Bathurst Resources to mine, as general stewardship land, which is the lowest legal status of protection of land managed by the Department of Conservation.
FMC President, Robin McNeill, says the legislation is clear, “Schedule 62 stewardship land is held for conservation purposes and conservation purposes only. The Minister has been misled – this is important conservation land. Stewardship land is not the next step up from some farmer’s gorse paddock, which the Minister’s decision would imply. The Denniston Plateau is legally protected for its conservation values and so to allow mining there is a travesty.”
Mr McNeill points out that Section 62 of the Conservation Act was designed to protect important land areas that were not in State forests and parks, reserves, or national parks when DOC was formed in 1987. “In light of the Minister’s decision, DOC now needs to make recategorising stewardship land a top priority”.