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High country advisory group a step forward - Feds


A new high country advisory group could boost constructive discussions among stakeholders and increase the wider public’s understanding of tenure review, Federated Farmers says.

"It’s always a good thing when a government agency aims to be more transparent," the Federation’s High Country Chairperson, Simon Williamson, said.

Land Information New Zealand announced the creation of the advisory group at the Federated Farmers High Country Conference in Cromwell earlier this week. It would feature Department of Conservation representatives, someone from Federated Farmers, and three to six members of the public with experience in sectors such as the environment, farming, industry, iwi and central/local government.

"It’s always a good thing when different stakeholders can sit together as a forum and discuss issues constructively, as opposed to take pot shots at each other through the media," Simon said.

"Over recent years we have asked a number of individuals and groups to provide factual and non-emotive reasons for claims that ‘tenure review is not working’. The advisory group may provide an opportunity for this."

Much as it welcomes this initiative, Federated Farmers is adamant the new group should not be about re-opening debate on the Crown Pastoral Land Act, which was tested in the Environment Court before being enshrined in legislation.

Federated Farmers believes the tenure review process and all issues related to the management of Crown Land in the South Island’s high country are widely misunderstood, mainly because they are complicated.

"A more visible process should help the whole community understand what’s going on," Simon said.

Applications for appointments to the advisory group close on June 14.

ENDS


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