The Government will end tenure review in the South Island high country, Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage announced today.
Tenure review is a voluntary process where Crown pastoral land can be sold to a leaseholder and areas with high ecological and recreational value can be returned to full Crown ownership as conservation land.
“Tenure review has resulted in parcels of land being added to the conservation estate, but it has also resulted in more intensive farming and subdivision on the 353,000 ha of land which has been freeholded. This contributed to major landscape change and loss of habitat for native plants and animals,” said Eugenie Sage.
“Tenure review has produced a mixed bag and has been criticised for a long time. It’s not clear that the taxpayer has always got value for money.
“We want to ensure that we are good stewards of the remaining 1.2 million hectares of pastoral lease land; that farmers can farm while safeguarding the high country’s landscape, biodiversity, social, economic and cultural values for present and future generations.”
With tenure review ending, the remaining Crown pastoral lease properties, currently 171 covering 1.2 million ha of Crown pastoral land, will continue to be managed under the regulatory system for Crown pastoral lands.
An announcement about the future of Crown pastoral land management will be made on Sunday.
Ending tenure review will involve law changes to the Crown Pastoral Land Act 1998.