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Consultation on high country land management closing soon

Land Information New Zealand is urging New Zealanders to have their say on the future management of the South Island high country. Public consultation on the Government’s proposed changes to the management of Crown pastoral land closes on Friday 12th April 2019.

Stretching from Marlborough to Southland, the land covers around 1.2 million hectares, nearly five percent of New Zealand.

“It’s important that people take this opportunity to tell us what they think of the proposed changes,” says Jamie Kerr, Acting Deputy Chief Executive Policy and Overseas Investment.

With tenure review ending, the Crown is set to be a long-term landowner, overseeing the impact of farming and other activities on approximately 170 pastoral leases.

“This consultation is an opportunity for the Government and those interested in the high country to ensure that Crown pastoral lands are managed sustainably to maintain their natural and landscape values while supporting viable farming businesses and local communities.

“We’ve had around 2,500 submissions already and there has been lively discussion at meetings. We have been impressed with the feedback already received, from leaseholders who farm the land and other organisations and individuals passionate about the future of the high country.”

The discussion document entitled “Enduring stewardship of Crown pastoral land” outlines proposed changes and seeks public comment. The changes include:

• Making decision-making by the Commissioner of Crown Lands more accountable and transparent.
• Providing more guidance and standards for the Commissioner’s decisions on leaseholder applications for activities such as burning and forestry.
• Requiring the Commissioner to obtain expert advice and consult as necessary when considering applications for discretionary consents.
• Updating the fees and charges framework.
• Requiring regular reporting against a monitoring framework.

Proposed new outcomes for Crown pastoral land include:

• Ensuring that the natural landscapes, indigenous biodiversity, and cultural and heritage values are secured and safeguarded through the Crown’s management of the land.
• Allowing for pastoral and non-pastoral activities that support economic resilience and local communities.

Feedback is also being sought on how the Crown can better implement Treaty of Waitangi responsibilities regarding Crown pastoral land.

Further information on how to make a submission and the discussion document can be found here: https://www.linz.govt.nz/CPLC

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