good news for Mackenzie Country

Picture 329 July 2010
Lets say NO to more of the kind of intensive development found in this photograph.
Media Release:Environmental Defence Society: wins cubicle farming case in the Mackenzie Country
The Environmental Defence Society has won a High Court case challenging
cubicle dairy farming in the Mackenzie basin.

“Environmental Defence Society: is very pleased to announce that the High Court has quashed resource
consents and certificates of compliance issued by Waitaki District Council
for 3 large cubicle farming operations in the Mackenzie Country,” said EDS
Chairman Gary Taylor.

“Our High Court challenge related to land use consents. Previously effluent
discharge consent applications that had been called in by the Minister for
the Environment were withdrawn by the applicants.

The applications were made by Killermont Run Ltd, Southdown Holdings Ltd
and Five Rivers Ltd. The consents relate 8,555 hectares of the Mackenzie
basin. They involved housing 17,850 dairy cows in large sheds around the
clock from March to October and for 12 hours per day for the rest of the
year. Up to 1.1 million litres of effluent could be discharged to pasture
daily. The cows would be kept in stalls, fed in the sheds and milked

“Our concerns were primarily at the effects of the proposal on the fragile
and unique tussock grasslands and landscapes of the Mackenzie Country. We
do not believe that the future of this iconic part of New Zealand should be
decided by individual resource consent applications.

“Clearly there has been a failure of public policy at all levels. The
Government has failed to provide national guidance; the regional council
has failed to identify nationally important landscapes; and the two
district councils have failed to develop coherent and effective district

“There is now a real window of opportunity to prepare a long-term Strategic
Plan for the area. In our view that should be led by the local community
but both Environment Canterbury and the Ministry for the Environment should
be involved. It needs to look at the landscape, natural values and social
and economic development options for the Mackenzie Country over the next 25
or more years.

“EDS remains willing to work with the authorities to secure an agreed way
forward for the Mackenzie Country. However if decisions impacting on it
continue to be made in an ad hoc way, then we will continue to be
vigilant,” Mr Taylor concluded.

More: Gary Taylor (09) 810 9594 or (021) 895 896
Environmental Defence Society
PO Box 95 152, Swanson, Waitakere City 0653 |
New Zealand

Phone +64-9-835 4350 | Email:
Visit Environmental Defence Society:

Independent conservation organisation Forest & Bird welcomes the announcement by the Environmental Defence Society today that it has won a High Court case challenging intensive dairy farming in the Mackenzie Basin.

Forest & Bird calls for Mackenzie drylands park

Forest & Bird is calling on the Government to step up protection of the Mackenzie’s threatened plants and animals and iconic landscapes with a drylands conservation park.

“Threats to the Mackenzie Country aren’t just about cubicle farming,” Forest & Bird Conservation Advocate Nicola Vallance says. “We want the Government to come up with a national strategy to protect this special wild landscape that belongs to all New Zealanders.”

According to Official Information Act details Forest & Bird obtained earlier this year, the Government plans to freehold more than 31,000 hectares of publicly owned land in the Mackenzie Basin.
Currently, leaseholders of Crown pastoral leases can graze sheep and beef cattle on publicly owned land. If the land is freeholded there will be little restraint on what they do, Ms Vallance says.

Why the Mackenzie Country is so special:
It is home to 68 species of threatened and rare plants (and 40 per cent of Canterbury’s threatened plants are found there).
The world’s rarest wading bird – the endangered black stilt or kaki – is found only in the Mackenzie Country, along with eight other threatened species of birds.
High country tourism is worth $4 billion a year to the New Zealand economy.

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