Ten­ure re­view halt ‘an op­tion’

The Timaru Herald - - FRONT PAGE - MATTHEW LITTLEWOOD

Con­ser­va­tion Min­is­ter Eu­ge­nie Sage is not rul­ing out a mora­to­rium on the ten­ure re­view process, as pres­sure on the process mounts on land use in the cen­tral South Is­land’s Macken­zie Basin.

Sage’s re­marks fol­low the re­lease last week of a $70,000 re­port on the fu­ture of the basin’s gov­er­nance that sug­gests all agen­cies work closer to­gether to im­prove en­vi­ron­men­tal out­comes.

Sage, who is also Land In­for­ma­tion Min­is­ter, told Stuff she would be re­view­ing all as­pects of the is­sue over the next six months.

A mora­to­rium on ten­ure re­view, as pre­vi­ously sug­gested by En­vi­ron­ment Court Judge Jon Jack­son, was one op­tion.

She de­clined to men­tion other op­tions, but also said she would be talk­ing to pas­toral lease-hold­ers in the re­gion.

The Con­ser­va­tion Min­is­ter added: ‘‘It’s too early to say. But we need to do much bet­ter.’’

Sage said the pre­vi­ous Govern­ment had failed the Macken­zie Basin by let­ting land use in­ten­si­fi­ca­tion to in­crease in vul­ner­a­ble ar­eas.

‘‘The pre­vi­ous lassiez ap­proach has not worked.

‘‘This Govern­ment is de­ter­mined to do the right thing by the Macken­zie Basin,’’ Sage said.

Ten­ure re­view is a process that be­gan un­der the Crown Pas­toral Lands Act in 1998.

Ten­ure re­view al­lows the Crown to iden­tify and re­lease the land from a pas­toral lease. faire

Since it be­gan, more than 51 pas­toral leases in the Macken­zie and Waitaki dis­tricts have been of­fered to join the process.

Of those 23 have com­pleted the process, 15 are un­der re­view and 13 are not in­volved in the process.

It is es­ti­mated in the Macken­zie Re­port that 88,336 hectares - roughly one third of the 269,000 hectares in the Macken­zie Basin area - has been made free­hold in the time since en­act­ment of the Crown Pas­toral Lands Act.

It has been the source of much con­tro­versy, par­tic­u­larly from en­vi­ron­men­tal groups, who feel that parts of the basin have been ef­fec­tively pri­va­tised in the process.

For­est and Bird Can­ter­bury field of­fi­cer Jen Miller said the Con­ser­va­tion Min­is­ter had enough in­for­ma­tion in front of her to sug­gest that the cur­rent ten­ure re­view process was not work­ing.

‘‘We are con­cerned the Crown Pas­toral Lands Act is not fit for pur­pose. There is a need for at least a pause on the ten­ure re­view process,’’ said Miller.

She said there was in­creas­ing con­cern about the loss of habi­tat and eco­log­i­cal val­ues in some of the more vul­ner­a­ble ar­eas of the Macken­zie Basin.

‘‘The agen­cies have not been work­ing to­gether to pro­duce op­ti­mal out­comes. We worry that Land In­for­ma­tion New Zealand and Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion have in the past been talk­ing past each other.’’

Fed­er­ated Moun­tain Clubs pres­i­dent Peter Wil­son said the or­gan­i­sa­tion did not sup­port a mora­to­rium on ten­ure re­view.

In­stead, the or­gan­i­sa­tion wanted the find­ings of the Macken­zie Re­port im­ple­mented, which in­clude em­pow­er­ing the Macken­zie Trust to look at all sides of the is­sue.

The re­port also pro­poses ‘‘dry­lands re­serve park’’.

‘‘But it needs to be done very swiftly. What we’ve had over the last few years is in­ac­tion and let­ting the is­sue fester,’’ Wil­son said.

An­drew Simp­son, of Bal­moral Sta­tion, said there was much pub­lic con­fu­sion over the ten­ure re­view process.

‘‘There is an ex­pec­ta­tion that ten­ure re­view con­trols land use, which is not cor­rect,’’ Simp­son said.

‘‘There is con­fu­sion over the rights of the pas­toral lease holder.

‘‘Ten­ure re­view was de­signed to give those that go through the process a fee-sim­ple ti­tle on one hand, while it al­lows the Crown the right to put in place those ar­eas which do have con­ser­va­tional val­ues into full con­trol.’’ a

Po­lice note­book

In­ci­dents re­ported by Ti­maru po­lice in­clude:

Po­lice and fire crews were called to a cab­bage tree on fire near Theo­dosia St on Tues­day. Crews were called at 1am.

A woman was ar­rested in Ti­maru on Mon­day for a his­toric bur­glary she al­legedly com­mit­ted in Christchurch.

A po­ten­tial do­mes­tic in­ci­dent was re­ported by a Sim­mons Street res­i­dent on Mon­day night. The res­i­dent told po­lice she could hear yelling and scream­ing com­ing from a neigh­bour’s house. Po­lice at­tended but the oc­cu­pants of the house were unco-op­er­a­tive.

A sum of cash was stolen from a house in Rich­mond Street on Sun­day. The res­i­dents came home to find their front doors wide open and $220 miss­ing.

A youth al­legedly com­mit­ted an as­sault on Stafford Street on Sun­day. He has been re­ferred to youth aid.

Bur­glar­ies re­main un­solved

Se­nior Con­sta­ble Rus­sell Halkett said there are still no leads into three bur­glar­ies on Fe­bru­ary 18. The Cave Store, the Fair­lie BP ser­vice sta­tion, and Geral­dine’s On the Spot Dairy were all bro­ken into and had sig­nif­i­cant amounts of to­bacco and cig­a­rettes stolen. . Po­lice be­lieve the bur­glar­ies, which hap­pened 3am4.40, are linked.

No po­lice open day

Mid-South Can­ter­bury po­lice area com­man­der In­spec­tor Dave Gaskin says the re­gion will not be hold­ing open day events. It emerged on Tues­day that Nel­son, Marl­bor­ough, and West Coast po­lice are host­ing open day events across the Tas­man District next month, in what is a chance to con­nect with po­lice. Gaskin said the only sta­tion host­ing an open day in Can­ter­bury will be Christchurch cen­tral.

Main­land net­ball se­lec­tion

Ti­maru net­ballers Nicola Mackle and Laura Dor­gan have been named in the Main­land Beko Squad for 2018. The former Can­ter­bury Tac­tix mid­courter Mackle has been named pend­ing an ex­emp­tion from Net­ball New Zealand. The team open their cam­paign against Cen­tral on May 13 in Porirua.

SC cricket team

The South Can­ter­bury un­der 16 cricket side to play Mid Can­ter­bury at Geral­dine on Sun­day is: Fletcher Rhodes, Flynn Smith, Ross McCul­loch, Toby Clemett, Jar­rod Phillips, Ben Cos­griff, Ge­orge Kerr, Flynn Lin­ton, Lu­cas His­ten, Pa­trick Good­win, Reece Burten­shaw and Harper McKer­row.

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