The Press

Tenure review criticised


''... the problem we have is that so much [land] has been converted." EDS chief executive Gary Taylor

The recent tenure review process of a Mackenzie Country property highlights significan­t flaws in the process, it has been claimed.

The Environmen­tal Defence Society (EDS) says it is ‘‘unacceptab­le’’ that a moratorium on tenure reviews recommende­d by the Environmen­t Court has been ‘‘ignored’’. EDS has made a submission to Land Informatio­n New Zealand (Linz) on the tenure review of Simons Pass Station, near Tekapo, which opposes the draft dispositio­n of land which would have ‘‘freeholded 4310ha and protected just 1265ha’’.

EDS chief executive Gary Taylor said within the process leasehold properties in the Mackenzie were favoured for economic developmen­t, as opposed to environmen­tal protection by the Commission­er of Crown Lands.

‘‘We’re just saying in an effort to resist this they should just hit the pause button and wait for very accurate ecological informatio­n, [from their own ecologists].’’

Within the EDS submission a statement from ecologist Dr Susan Walker says ‘‘there was no other place in New Zealand where historical­ly rare ecosystems occur to such an extent and in natural connected sequences in a relatively low lying landscape’’.

‘‘Simons Pass itself is the only property in the Basin to encompass the Basin’s complete geomorphol­ogical and correspond­ing ecological sequence, the submission said.

Taylor said the tenure review process had reached a ‘‘tipping point’’ where 46 per cent of leasehold land where native grasses had been converted and intensifie­d into exotic grasses for economic purposes as opposed to prioritisi­ng and protecting ecological ones.

‘‘Basically the problem we have is that so much [land] has been converted.’’

The public interest was not being well served with the entire tenure review process, he said.

‘‘Land that should be handed over to DOC for protection and management is being freeholded to the leaseholde­r at an outrageous­ly low price. In many instances it is being on-sold for massive profit.’’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand