losing our commons;protect Maryburn Station

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Media Release – Losing our commons/protect the Wolds and Maryburn
Submissions on Tenure Review of The Wolds and Maryburn Pastoral Leases closed Thursday 31 March 2011.

Mackenzie Guardians Inc. submitted in opposition to the preliminary proposals because the proposals do not adequately recognise and provide protection for large natural areas in the central Mackenzie Basin.

Mackenzie Guardians find it extremely alarming to receive tenure review proposals that do not implement either the statute or the stated intent of this government (Crown pastoral land – 2009 and beyond). The government’s policy provides an assurance that inherent landscape values will be maintained and protected. The Wolds and Maryburn proposals do not achieve this.

The Mackenzie Guardians have previously met with the Commissioner of Crown Lands and Land Information NZ officials for clarification that the statutory processes will be adequately implemented in any tenure review and consent processes to address the character and scale of Mackenzie landscapes.

The Mackenzie Guardians have undertaken considerable assessment and analysis in the Mackenzie Basin and have identified that, together with adjoining Maryburn, The Wolds Pastoral Lease lands encapsulate the very essence of the basin’s natural and naturalistic values. The Lease includes core aspects of the iconic Mackenzie Country that John Key and Nick Smith have said this government values and will protect. Disappointingly the officials seem to have ignored government directives in their preliminary proposals.

Mackenzie Guardians believe the values of this unique area needs to be conserved for the enjoyment and well-being of present and future generations.

Mackenzie Guardians understands the Tenure Review proposal for the
Maryburn Pastoral Lease is to:
1. designate 3,430 hectares as land to be restored to or retained in Crown
control as conservation area (CA1).
2. designate 4,946 hectares as land to be disposed of by freehold to the

Mackenzie Guardians oppose the preliminary Tenure Review proposal in its
entirety because the proposal fails to protect significant inherent values on Maryburn.

It fails to protect the natural values of the Maryburn outwash plain, the wetlands and
much of the catchments of Mary Burn and Irishman Creek and the margins of Lake
Pukaki. It fails to protect the Pukaki moraine (western block) and the eastern slopes
of Mt Mary. That is, the proposal fails to protect the essence of this core of the
Mackenzie landscape, and also fails to protect particular natural features within it.
The proposal does not meet the provisions of the Crown Pastoral Lands Act (CPLA).
Under the CPLA Section 24 (b) (i) and (ii), significant inherent values must be
protected by the creation of protective mechanisms with a preference to return to full
Crown ownership and control.

The proposal does not promote the management of reviewable land with significant
inherent values in a way that is ecologically sustainable, as required by the CPLA
Section 24 (a) (i).
The proposal does not provide for future public access, recreational opportunities
and enjoyment of the high country landscape as required by Section 24 (c) (1) of the
CPLA “make easier the securing of public access to and the enjoyment of reviewable

Nor does the proposal meet Government Policy (2009 and beyond). Allowing for
varying mechanisms, the Policy requires the protection of high landscape values be
achieved, including for lakesides. The proposal does not meet this requirement. As
reiterated by the Guardians in meeting with LINZ officials, administration should more
closely match statutory requirements and government directions. The methods
proposed in this tenure review do not ensure achievement of the stewardship that is
directed by the government policy, particularly for the natural character of
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Significant Inherent values
DOC assessment criteria for determining SIV‟s for areas of highest significance is as
106. The highest significance will be accorded to the best remaining
representative examples of landscapes that characterised New Zealand
before humans arrived.
The outwash plains and the Pukaki moraine are among the best remaining examples
especially because of their scale and broadscale intactness. The proposal fails to
protect their highly significant inherent landscape values.
107. The highest significance will be accorded to the natural character of the
margins of lakes and rivers. The margin includes those landforms that
surround a water body and define its character and qualities.
The Maryburn, and its associated landforms, is of the highest significance. The
proposal fails to protect these highly significant inherent values.
108. High significance will be accorded to other remaining examples of
landscapes that characterised New Zealand before humans arrived.
Whilst not pristine, the vast outwash landscape is an important and rare remaining
example of a characteristic original landscape. The proposal gives this no
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Mackenzie Guardians submission Maryburn Pastoral Lease Tenure Review Proposal March 2011
109. High significance will be accorded to generally recognised high country
landscapes or scenery. This can include natural and cultural landscapes.
The Maryburn outwash lands are crucial aspects of the grand high country landscape
of the Mackenzie, forming the naturalistic foreground to the views up to the source of
the material at Aoraki Mount Cook. The ability for the public to drive through and
experience this giant natural system is undoubtedly a nationally important inherent
value. The proposal does nothing to protect this highly significant value.
110. High significance will be accorded to opportunities to restore or increase
the natural character of recognised high country landscapes.
The proposal does nothing to provide opportunities to restore or increase the natural
character of the outwash landscape that is core to this recognised high country
In addition, Government policy states that lakeside and landscape values are to be
maintained and protected through tenure review. The proposal does not maintain or
protect the Pukaki lakeside landscape or the Tekapo outwash landscape.
Maryburn Pastoral Lease

The Maryburn Pastoral lease is located in the centre of the Mackenzie Basin. The
lease extends west from the Tekapo River to the Maryburn stream. A second block
includes the south western end of the Mary Range to Lake Pukaki. The three main
types of landforms represented on Maryburn are outwash and alluvial surfaces,
moraine, and, hard rock isolated mountain or roche moutonnée.
The alluvial fluvio-glacial outwash plains, till-covered glacial hummocks, stony
terraces, kettleholes and ephemeral tarns, and lowland hill country shrubland, are all
significant as distinctive geomorphological features, ecosystems, habitats and
communities. Due to their naturalness, together they provide a „textbook‟ of glacial
processes. The sequence of habitats from the Pukaki terminal moraine, to the
hummocky moraine deposits to the fluvio-glacial channels and outwash plain provide
an important landscape sequence.
The areas on Maryburn which deserve protection are:
1. Maryburn outwash plain (eastern block)
This broad fluvio-glacial outwash plain between State Highway 8 and the Tekapo
River comprises a series of terraces and flood plains built of deep gravels overlain to
varying degrees with loess soils and bisected by Irishman‟s Creek.
The Maryburn outwash plain is one of the most distinctive natural landscapes in the
Mackenzie Basin. From the major tourist State highway, the outwash plain of short
tussock grassland can be viewed at close range across vast distances, making it one
of the most iconic and memorable views in the Mackenzie. The sense of extreme
openness and exposure to the elements is highly characteristic. It is a landscape
treasured by many New Zealanders and overseas visitors.
Outwash plains in their undeveloped form make a fundamental contribution to
outstanding natural landscape character. They are distinct and unique and are a key
element to the Mackenzie Basin.
They are a naturally rare ecosystem. Outwash plains are listed in the proposed
National Policy Statement on Indigenous Biodiversity 2011 as a naturally uncommon
ecosystem type, which is to be regarded as supporting vegetation and/or habitat that
is “significant”. There is to be no “net loss” of biodiversity from such areas. The

Mackenzie Guardians submission Maryburn Pastoral Lease Tenure Review Proposal March 2011
outwash plains and its ecosystem is irreplaceable or irreplicable because of its high
stress environment and highly specialised species.
Stronger mechanisms are required to protect the significant inherent values of
outwash plains. The proposed unencumbered freeholding of moraine and outwash
will not maintain or protect the values.
If freeholded as proposed the outwash plain landscape values could be cultivated
and destroyed. The naturalness, the evident dry tussock grassland, the textures and
colours of gold, brown and grey would likely be replaced by bright green exotic grass,
pivot irrigators and other structures and shelter belts. Inadequate measures and
poor enforcement of District Plan rules means the RMA would not prevent damage
from earthworks, cultivation, irrigation or forestry.
The statute and Policy recognise the inadequacies of Council measures under the
RMA. Whilst this Maryburn Pastoral Lease has been recognised as an important
contribution to an outstanding natural landscape of national importance, there are as
yet no land management measures in the Canterbury Region or Mackenzie District
Policies or Plans to implement the landscape protection in terms of land

As some of these dry landforms and associated dryland plant communities are some
of the least protected in New Zealand, Mackenzie Guardians seek protection for the
entire triangle of land as conservation land to safeguard a full suite of fluvial-glacial
outwash and younger alluvial terrace and floodplain features.
Land between Lake Pukaki and crest of Mary Range including Pukaki lateral
moraine (western block)
The moraine landscape between the Mary Range and Lake Pukaki is part of a wider
area previously identified for its significant geomorphological values (Mansergh

It is a part of the Lake Pukaki Terminal Moraine site, a nationally significant
geopreservation site classified as an extremely well defined landform of scientific and
educational value.
It is part of “the most intact sequence of lateral moraine topography remaining in the
Mackenzie Basin” (Head 2001).
The moraine landscape is visible from the main highway corridor, SH8 and the road
adjacent to the Lake Pukaki shoreline. The area is distinctive and is as important as
any other area contributing to the diversity of the Basin‟s natural landscapes. It
evokes landscape qualities of openness and vast space. It is memorable because it
is one of the most natural looking landscapes now remaining in the Basin.
The area should become conservation land to protect its significant inherent values
and to help safeguard a continuous landscape sequence from the lake margin to the
crest of the Mary Range. Protection would also secure public access to the lake and
to the top of the Mary Range.
A trail along the crest of the range would provide one of the best views of the
geopreservation site and spectacular views over Lake Pukaki to the Ben Ohau
Range and Aoraki/Mt Cook.
It would enable the public to appreciate the distinctive
landscape character and natural heritage.

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Mackenzie Guardians submission Maryburn Pastoral Lease Tenure Review Proposal March 2011
real appreciation of the vastness of the Basin and its formative processes and
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The Te Araroa trail passes through the area from Tekapo to Twizel, mainly within the
Lake Pukaki moraine landscape and along the Pukaki shoreline for 7kms to SH8.
Eastern slopes Mary Range
Mackenzie Guardians support a sustainable land management covenant as
recommended by DoC under the Crown Pastoral Land Act over 306 ha. of the
eastern slopes of the Mary Range from the crest of the range to around the 600 m.
contour. This part of the range can be seen from SH8 and is an important part of the
corridor highway experience through the basin. The skyline is intact with no major
structures. The covenant was intended to protect these landscape values by
prohibiting the erection of buildings or structures, forestry plantings and earthworks.
Freeholding without a covenant leaves the skyline and eastern slopes vulnerable to
Mary Burn Stream and wetlands
In hill and high country areas water quality has generally remained relatively high but
accelerating land use change and intensification are causing water quality
degradation in some rivers, lakes and wetlands. More intensive land use change as a
result of the proposed freeholding on Maryburn may compromise water quality in the
Mary Burn and Irishman Creek, and associated springs and wetlands.
The Mary Burn has high visual values because of its clear water and its natural
character. The stream corridor is distinctive in its dryland setting adds to the richness
of the landscape through diversity and contrast. This valuable riparian habitat is part
of the Tekapo River system.
All streams of this scale and associated wetlands are significant because of the
extent of loss and degradation that has occurred nationally since European
settlement, less than 10% remain in Canterbury. All deserve protection and proper
management for clean water and protection of habitat and species that use the
stream and wetland for parts of their lifecycle.
Mackenzie Guardians do not support the freeholding of streams and wetlands and
riparian corridors with known and proven values. We seek that the Mary Burn and its
associated landforms and wetlands be managed for its natural values, clear clean
water, vegetation, birdlife and invertebrates, and as important contributor to the
landscape unit, as conservation land.
A standard marginal strip would not adequately
protect and buffer the stream and wetland riparian shrubland and be inadequate to
retain the natural character and landscape values. Instead mechanisms to ensure the
values are maintained and protected need to be ensured.
Northern wetland
All remaining wetlands are a priority habitat for conservation. The northern wetland is
a good example of a spring fed wetland. It is permanently wet, connected to Mary
Burn Stream and has been identified as a Site of Special Wildlife Interest for birds.
The wetland is a rare habitat type in a dry landscape. It is fairly substantial in size,
contains representative wetland plant communities and provides a key habitat for
indigenous birds, fish and invertebrates. The proposal to freehold the wetland would
likely result in continued degradation.

Mackenzie Guardians submission Maryburn Pastoral Lease Tenure Review Proposal March 2011
Mackenzie Guardians seek protection of the wetland by way of conservation
covenant, to restore the vegetation and ecological values.
Mackenzie Guardians understand the Key Priority (4.10.1) under the Canterbury
Conservation Management Strategy is landscape protection – the Mackenzie Basin
is described as a vast open landscape exhibiting a distinctive tussock grassland
character. The property is a key landscape to be protected. The CMS states the
Conservancy will seek to protect, maintain and enhance the [natural] heritage
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Tenure Review should provide that protection and an opportunity to maintain,
restore and enhance the natural heritage landscape.
Key priority (4.10.2) is to protect and enhance the viability of priority threatened
species and their habitats.

Tenure Review should be the implementation method (#18) to protect indigenous
Tenure Review should ensure the survival of the best representative examples of
geological features, landforms soil sites and active physical processes so that the
geological history of NZ its landforms and the evolution of its biota can be
Tenure review should protect a range of areas and values that best contribute to
maintaining and restoring Canterbury‟s indigenous biodiversity.
As the preliminary proposal does not substantially provide for landscape and
ecological protection and recreational opportunities, tenure review should be halted
and the property remain as a pastoral lease.