19 May 2021
Around 18,000 hectares will become conservation land in the Mackenzie Basin after tenure review agreements were reached for The Grampians and Godley Peaks pastoral leases.
Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand (LINZ), which is responsible for 1.2 million hectares of Crown pastoral land in the South Island high country, managed the tenure review process on behalf of the Commissioner of Crown Lands.
LINZ Deputy Chief Executive Crown Property Jerome Sheppard says the agreements are another significant step towards protecting precious landscapes in the Mackenzie and increasing public access to these special places.
“The agreements strike a balance between farming and protecting the unique values of this iconic land that is home to a range of threatened plants, birds, fish and insects.”
He says under the agreement for Godley Peaks, 11,800 hectares – 81 percent of the pastoral lease – will become conservation land.
“This is the second largest amount of conservation land secured in the Mackenzie through tenure review.”
The remaining 2,600 hectares will be freehold, with 370 hectares subject to a conservation covenant.
The agreement for The Grampians will see 6,300 hectares become conservation land, and 9,700 hectares will be freehold with 1,500 hectares subject to conservation covenants.
Mr Sheppard says public feedback was carefully considered and changes made taking submissions into account. This included extending conservation areas, and improving public access to the Grampian Mountains, Grays River, Godley Valley and Mistake Valley to allow recreational activities.
The Government made the decision to end tenure review in 2018, but the process is ongoing until the legislation changes.
The Crown Pastoral Land Reform Bill is currently before Parliament’s Environment Select Committee.
There are currently 27 properties in tenure review, a process by which pastoral lease land with high conservation values is protected and restored to full Crown ownership as conservation land, enabling public access and recreation, while land capable of economic use is freeholded to the leaseholder.
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