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Changes to provide greater protection for 1.2 million hectares of Crown pastoral land in the South Island high country will come into effect next week.

Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand (LINZ), which is responsible for the management of Crown pastoral land, is making the changes on 17 November to support the implementation of reforms to the Crown Pastoral Land Act. 

LINZ Head of Crown Property Sonya Wikitera says the changes include a new process for consenting discretionary pastoral activities, stock limitation exemptions, commercial recreation permits and easements to provide greater protection of inherent values – everything that makes these places so special. 

“We are also changing the way we assess lease transfers and sublease applications to better consider public access to these landscapes. 

“There will also be greater visibility of the decisions we make regarding the management of this land, with a summary of all decisions available on our website.”

Ms Wikitera says it’s exciting to be able to implement the changes in the Act to address public concern regarding the management of these iconic landscapes. 

“Since the Act came into effect, we’ve been working closely with iwi, the High Country Accord, High Country Advisory Group, and the Department of Conservation to ensure the changes we make are robust and workable. 

“Together, we’ve managed to strike a balance between protecting everything that makes these landscapes so special, while still allowing for pastoral farming to continue for generations to come. 

“We look forward to working closely with leaseholders as we transition into these new systems, as we take this next step in our journey to better manage these iconic landscapes on behalf of all New Zealanders.”

At this stage, regulations which LINZ consulted on in July are expected to be finalised by Parliament early next year. 

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