25 July 2019

A tenure review agreement has been reached for Canterbury high country station Island Hills.

Tenure review is a voluntary process that gives pastoral lessees an opportunity to buy some of their leasehold land from the Crown. The rest of the land, usually areas of high ecological value, returns to full Crown ownership for conservation purposes.

Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) Deputy Chief Executive Crown Property Jerome Sheppard says 1600 hectares will be transferred to the Crown as conservation estate and 3200 will be freehold subject to conservation covenants, that restrict activities such as grazing, vegetation clearance and burning. The remaining 200 hectares will be freehold without restrictions.

“Public access rights to the land and surrounding areas have also been secured, including access through Island Hills to Lake Sumner Forest Park,” Mr Sheppard says.

The Department of Conservation will manage the conservation land, which features mature forest and a mountain range, and is home to native lizards, fish, insects and birds such as the New Zealand falcon/kārearea and black shag/kawau.

Island Hills entered tenure review in 2011 and a preliminary proposal was publicly advertised in 2016. Seven submissions were received, with most supportive of the proposal.

Mr Sheppard says until changes are made to the Crown Pastoral Land Act, tenure review is ongoing.

“While the Government has decided to end tenure review, the process won’t stop until legislation is passed in Parliament, which we expect to happen in this term of Government.

“Until then the Commissioner of Crown Lands is legally required to continue to carry out reviews. Only reviews that have an agreed substantive proposal when the new legislation is passed will be completed.”

LINZ is currently preparing advice for Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage following public consultation on improvements to the long-term management of Crown pastoral land.

There are currently 30 properties in the tenure review process.

Island Hills - substantive proposal designation plan (PDF 8MB)

Notes to Editors:

Breakdown of the division of Island Hills through tenure review:

  • 1,617 hectares to be transferred to full Crown ownership as a conservation area/
  • 619 hectares to be freeholded to the leaseholder subject to an existing QEII covenant preventing grazing and subdivision/
  • 852 hectares to be freeholded to the leaseholder subject to the creation of a covenant under the Reserves Act to protect significant inherent values.
  • 1,795 hectares to be freeholded to the leaseholder subject to the creation of a convent under the Reserves Act prohibiting grazing, planting, burning and structures among other things.
  • 200 hectares to freeholded to the leaseholder with no constraints from the Crown
  • 3.2 km easement to allow access to the conservation area
  • Total area of land: 5,083 hectares

Media enquiries

Email: media@linz.govt.nz or phone: 027 566 5251