Consultation on Crown pastoral land management launched

17 February 2019

Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage has launched a consultation on proposed changes to the Crown’s management of pastoral land in the South Island high country. This follows an earlier announcement that the Government is ending tenure review.

Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) is the agency responsible for managing Crown pastoral land. Stretching from Marlborough to Southland, much of the land is divided into pastoral leases used for grazing.

Tenure review is a voluntary process by which Crown pastoral land can be sold to a leaseholder and areas with a high ecological or other value, or required by the Crown for another purpose, are returned to full Crown ownership.

With the ending of tenure review, the Crown is set to be a long-term steward for pastoral land, requiring it to take a stronger and enduring stewardship role.

Video transcript

“It will be critical that the regulatory system governing Crown pastoral land supports effective management, which is why the legislative changes being proposed are so important,” says Jamie Kerr, Deputy Chief Executive Policy and Overseas Investment.

“The Government wants to work in partnership with others to achieve better outcomes for Crown pastoral land in the high country, so I would urge anyone with a passion for this landscape to read the discussion document and submit their views.

“This consultation is one of the first steps to strengthening key partnerships so the Crown can better steward this critically important landscape.”

The need for change to how the land is managed has been clear for some time with shifts in the use of the land at a farming, environmental and economic level. The recently published assessment of the Crown Pastoral Land Regulatory System also identified the need for changes at a legislative level to improve the environmental and economic outcomes for pastoral land in the high country.

A key part of the consultation is proposed outcomes for the land, which focus on ensuring that sustainable land use is promoted and the natural landscapes, indigenous biodiversity, and cultural and heritage values are secured and safeguarded for the future.

There are also a number of proposals to support changes to how the Crown manages its pastoral land to achieve the outcomes.

These include:

  • ways to ensure decision making is accountable and transparent
  • changes to how the Commissioner of Crown Lands considers discretionary consents to ensure the Crown makes decisions in the best interests of achieving the outcomes
  • improvements to the information held on Crown pastoral land
  • improving the Crown’s performance
  • increasing monitoring of the land.

There is also the opportunity to provide feedback on the implications of ending tenure review, including:

  • how land with significant ecological values could be protected in the future
  • how public access to Crown pastoral land could be secured

The consultation is open until Friday 12 April 2019. Submissions can be made via a digital or hard copy form available on our Consultation on enduring stewardship of Crown pastoral land page  

For more information please visit the consultation webpage or email

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