At the bottom of Sage’s Budget Day press statement is $2.6 million “to fund better protection of the unique landscapes and biodiversity of the Mackenzie Basin”. The Minister says that’s to better implement the collaborative Mackenzie Agreement and might include money for the Mackenzie Country Trust.
Protecting the Mackenzie Basin is a focus of the Budget with new funding for conservation estate dedicated towards it.
What’s really happening with the spread of the cattle disease Mycoplasma Bovis is about as transparent as a plane-grounding Wellington fog.
A controversial Mackenzie Basin pastoral lease under the microscope of Greenpeace could have more than two-thirds of the land to go into freehold.
A controversial proposal to develop land on the shore of Lake Pukaki could be “dead in the water”, according to one of its opponents.
The winds of political change are being felt in the Mackenzie Basin.
In Canterbury, Statistics NZ figures showed a six-fold increase, from 200,000 to more than 1.2 million, from 1994 to 2016, hardly surprising given the sheer volume of dairy conversions over a number of years, some in locations, like the Mackenzie Basin, seen by the environmental lobby as completely unsuitable for dairying.
TIA is urging the Council to strengthen its focus on environmental protection. The Draft Long Term Plan emphasises the need to value and protect areas such as the Mackenzie Basin. “Our environment is our unique selling point as a tourism destination, and the Mackenzie Basin is a nationally significant landscape for tourism. It attracts many visitors, and is also integral to the experience of those heading to Aoraki Mount Cook National Park and those on the main South Island touring route, which passes through the Basin,” says Mr Roberts.
If ever there was a place in NZ where we should say ‘no more dairying’ this is it, says Gary Taylor of the Environmental Defence Society.