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Land War Two by Rebecca Macfie

Greening of the high country: intensive irrigated dairy farming south of Twizel. Photo/Peter Scott

A nor’wester is whistling down the lake and rattling at the windows of Mike and Louise Neilson’s Lake Ohau Lodge.

The snow has mostly gone from the slopes of the Ohau Range, from where skiers and boarders at the Neilsons’ small skifield can look eastwards across a vast ­landscape sculpted by glaciers and desiccating wind, and rippled by the ancient movement of meltwater and braided rivers.

Mackenzie District Council reaches settlement to close land clearance loopholes

The Mackenzie District Council has come to an agreement with an environmental group over land clearance.


Loopholes that allowed much-criticised vegetation clearance in the Mackenzie District will be closed before Christmas.

Concerns over the rate of indigenous vegetation being cleared in the district sparked a legal challenge by the Environmental Defence Society (EDS), which was heard under urgency in the Environment Court in Christchurch last week.

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Media Release: Settlement reached over Mackenzie Country court case

The Mackenzie District Council and the Environmental Defence Society have reached an agreement that settles EDS’s Declaration Proceedings regarding land conversion in the Mackenzie District.

The settlement involves a commitment from the Council, subject to its statutory duties, to introduce a Plan Change before Christmas that will temporarily suspend the exemption provisions from its district plan for a period of 12 months. The expectation is that within that time completely new plan provisions will be put in place. The Environment Court made orders late yesterday effectively endorsing the approach.

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Benmore Irrigation Company shareholders ‘hugely disappointed’ by decison against resource consent

Sailors Cutting on the southern side on the Ahuriri arm of Lake Benmore an area Fish and Game is concerned would be ...

John Bisset

(Sailors Cutting on the southern side on the Ahuriri arm of Lake Benmore an area Fish and Game is concerned would be contaminated by run off from farms.)

Benmore Irrigation Company shareholders are “hugely disappointed” after an application to extend the area it irrigates in the Mackenzie Basin was declined, chairman Henry Williamson says.

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Claims land is being cleared at an unprecedented rate in the Mackenzie

Concerns have been raised about land clearance in the Mackenzie Basin.


(Concerns have been raised about land clearance in the Mackenzie Basin.)

The rapid clearance of land in the Mackenzie Basin is causing “permanent harm” to the landscape, an ecologist says.

Politicians have waded into the battle over the environmental impact of land conversion in the district, as the Mackenzie District Council prepares to head to court over the issue.

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