Minister for Land Information Damien O’Connor recently provided an update on the Bill and the changes recommended by the Committee to Farmers Weekly. If you missed it, you can view it online (on page 40).
The Bill will now proceed to a second reading. At this stage, the Government’s intention is that the Bill is passed before the end of the year. We will keep you updated as it continues through the Parliamentary process.
In the meantime, we are continuing with tenure review and recently reached agreements for Grampians and Godley Peaks. We share the outcome about these reviews in this issue and provide an update about our pastoral lease visits, which I’m pleased are up even more this year.
We also have an update about our High Country Advisory Group, a profile on Nick Sinclair-Butterick in our pastoral team, and the latest on Te Manahuna Ki Uta/the Destination Mackenzie project.
I hope you enjoy this issue and I welcome any feedback you may have. Please feel free to share this newsletter with anyone else who may be interested.
Our pastoral team got out and about on pastoral leases even more over the last year.
The team is responsible for administering 162 Crown pastoral leases that span 1.2 million hectares in the South Island high country.
Pastoral Team Manager April Hussey says over the last year (between July 2020 and June 2021) the team carried out 109 visits over 80 different leases for a range of purposes, including property inspections and to process consents. This was up 51 percent on the previous year, which saw 72 visits completed over 54 leases.
“I’m proud that we’ve managed to complete even more visits this year and we look set to achieve our commitment to visit each pastoral lease at least once every two years.
“It’s been great connecting with our leaseholders on the land to find out what they are doing and how we can help.”
April says the team was also contacted more by leaseholders this year and felt the visits were contributing to strengthening the partnership.
She says visits slow down at this time of year, due to poor weather conditions, but will ramp up again in the spring/summer. The team liaises with leaseholders to schedule visits around farming commitments, including lambing, shearing and mustering.
“A key focus for the team over the coming months will be supporting leaseholders come to terms with any new requirements under the Crown Pastoral Land Reform Bill.”
There will be an opportunity for leaseholders, iwi and the public to provide feedback on any new regulations developed as part of implementing the Bill.
Tenure review continues
We continue our work on tenure review and recently reached agreements for The Grampians and Godley Peaks pastoral leases.
The agreements will see around 18,000 hectares in the Mackenzie Basin, home to a range of threatened plants, birds, fish and insects, become conservation land.
You can find out more about the outcome of these reviews on our website.
The tenure review agreements for Huxley Gorge I and II, as well as Island Hills, in Canterbury, have also recently been implemented and the land designated for conservation transferred to the Department of Conservation.
While the Government made the decision to end tenure review in 2018, the process is ongoing until the Crown Pastoral Land Reform Bill comes into effect. At that point, tenure review will end the day after the Bill is passed, except for pastoral leases at the substantive proposal stage.
There are currently 27 properties in tenure review.
New High Country Advisory Group
Earlier this year, we announced the new members of our High Country Advisory Group.
Jim Greenslade, Tom Pinckney, Kerry Harmer, Donna Field, Ray Grubb, Cordelia Woodhouse and Professor Bill Lee were appointed as new members, while Jonathan Wallis, Di Lucas and Jen Miller were reappointed to provide continuity to the group.
A key consideration when appointing the group was ensuring we had a range of representatives, including iwi, environmental experts and a number of farmers.
“It’s important for us to hear a range of perspectives as we work to understand, develop and care for the iconic high country,” says LINZ Chief Executive Gaye Searancke.
For more information on the group, including profiles on the members, visit the website.