Find the most up to date information on the changes we’re making to the administration of Crown pastoral land in the South Island high country.

The Crown is responsible for around 1.2 million hectares of pastoral land stretching from Marlborough to Southland. Much of this land is leased on a long-term basis to farmers for pastoral grazing.

Law changes to end tenure review and provide for better administration of Crown pastoral land in the South Island high country are now being considered by Parliament.

The Crown Pastoral Land Reform Bill commenced its second reading in Parliament on Thursday 12 August 2021. The Bill is halfway through this process, which will continue when Parliament resumes. The second reading provides an opportunity for Members of Parliament to convey their views on the Bill.

Detail on the Bill and its progression through the Parliamentary process

The Bill proposes changes to the Crown Pastoral Land Act 1998 and Land Act 1948. It will end tenure review and introduce an outcomes-based approach to the regulatory system to help ensure that sustainable pastoral farming maintains or enhances the inherent (ecological, landscape, cultural, heritage and scientific) values of the land. The changes also aim to increase transparency, improve accountability, enable more public involvement in how the system operates, and better support the Crown-Māori relationship.

The Bill reflects input from over 3200 submitters to the discussion document Enduring Stewardship of Crown Pastoral Land, which was released for public consultation in early 2019. 161 written submissions on the Bill were made through the select committee process in the first half of 2021, including a duplicated form submission lodged by 1733 individuals. We have also carried out additional engagement with iwi, leaseholders, and stakeholders as part of the consultation process.

Enduring Stewardship of Crown Pastoral Land

The Bill indicates what the Crown will be seeking to achieve as a long-term steward of its pastoral land. It addresses some of the issues identified in the early 2019 assessment of the Crown Pastoral Land Regulatory System, which can be found on our Regulatory systems page. In response to this assessment, we have made several operational changes to improve the way we manage Crown pastoral leases, with a focus on improving our monitoring of activities on pastoral lease land. These changes have included increasing inspections, visiting leases every time a consent is made, and committing to visit every pastoral lease at least once every two years.

Regulatory stewardship and strategy

There is information about the legislative process on the Parliament website.

Parliament - How a Bill becomes law

Until the Bill becomes law, the current Crown pastoral land regime will continue to apply.

The summary of submissions from consultation carried out in 2019 is available here:

Submissions on enduring stewardship of Crown pastoral land

Last Updated: 9 September 2021