losing our commons/protect the Wolds

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High country landscapes are a national taonga (treasure). They are important to all New Zealanders. At the moment it is crown land and so it belongs to all of us.
The lakesides need to be preserved for everyone to enjoy, rather than by a few house and lifestyle block owners. Iconic public riches are to be given to runholders.

We believe Tenure Review should seek to enhance natural landscape values and protect significant native vegetation. Habitats for threatened species should be protected and enhanced. Tenure Review should provide outcomes that are in the wider public interest.

We believe the preliminary proposal does not substantially provide for landscape and ecological protection and recreational opportunities. We believe tenure review should be halted and the property remain as a pastoral lease.

Below is the full version of the submission we made. Sorry could not incorporate all the visuals.

Mackenzie Guardians believe that the values of this unique area need to be
conserved for the enjoyment and well-being of present and future generations.
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.
The Mackenzie Guardians have previously met with the CCL and LINZ 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 these Mackenzie
It is thus 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’ proposal does not
achieve this.

Mackenzie Guardians submission The Wolds Pastoral Lease March 2011
is as follows

Mackenzie Guardians understands the Tenure Review proposal for The Wolds
Pastoral Lease is to:
1. designate 600 ha (approximately) of Tekapo River terraces as land to be
restored to or retained in Crown control
2. designate 70 ha (approximately) as shrubland on the Mary Range, north east
toe slopes, to be restored to or retained in full Crown ownership and control
3. designate 85 ha (approximately) of the Mary Burn wetland to be to be restored
to or retained in full Crown ownership and control as a Scientific Reserve
4. designate 7,176 ha (approximately) as land to be disposed of by freehold to
the holder
5. designate 2.4 ha on the summit of the Mary Range for a tele-communications
reserve (with no public access).

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Mackenzie Guardians oppose the preliminary Tenure Review proposal in its entirety
because the proposal does not adequately recognise and provide protection for large
areas of land with significant inherent values (SIVs). The proposal does not meet the
provisions of the Crown Pastoral Lands Act (CPLA). It does not maintain or protect the
fundamental significant and natural values of the heart of the Mackenzie Basin that is
contributed to very substantially by lands of The Wolds.

Under the CPLA Section 24 (b) (i) and (ii), significant inherent values (SIVs) must be
protected by the application 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 land”.
The proposal does not implement government policy (2009 and beyond) directive for
protecting and maintaining high landscape values, including of lakesides, through
varying methods. The proposal does not achieve this. 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 landscapes, including lakeside landscapes.
The Wolds Pastoral Lease
The Wolds is located 19 km south of Tekapo on State Highway 8 in the centre of the
Mackenzie Basin. The property runs from the Tekapo River across outwash terraces
and braided floodplain terraces. The Mary
Range, of glacially over-ridden bedrock, a roche moutonnee .
Mackenzie Guardians submission The Wolds Pastoral Lease March 2011
Mountain) protrudes through impressive moraine fields, along with their backswamps
and fluvial terraces, that extend from the highway to Lake Pukaki (Land Type H3, Glacial
& Fluvial Basin Floor) (refer land type mapping, models and diagrams attached). Within
the glacial moraine, landform components featured include wetlands, moraine deposits,
boulder fields and kettle holes along with their associated vegetation. The 3 major land
types, the outwash, the moraine and the isolated mountain, and the associated lake,
form the essence of the central Mackenzie Basin landscape.

The Wolds is an integral part of the Mackenzie Basin. The property has outstanding
landscape values because of its overall natural appearance. The Ben Ohau Range,
Southern Alps and Aoraki provide a majestic backdrop to the west and The Grampians
to the east. The Mary Range is a prominent natural landmark in the area and is of high
scenic value.

The Wolds involves a quintessential transect through the central basin. The natural
values are highly legible and highly valued. The naturalness and continuity, of the
landscape sequence is fundamental to the Mackenzie Basin landscape value. The
proposal fails to protect the naturalness and the continuity of this sequence.
A large part of The Wolds is visible from State Highway 8, a national tourist highway and
the Tekapo Canal Road, which are important corridors through the Mackenzie Basin.
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. The
central Mackenzie Basin landscape is highly significant to the visitor/tourist and local
community experience, and contributes to their sense of place, identity and well-being.
The close up views from SH8 are important to New Zealanders and international visitors
travelling through the Mackenzie Basin. The views of the natural complex are iconic and
deserve protection.

The Wolds has highly significant landscape and ecological values. The area makes a
highly important contribution to intact ecological sequences of low altitude naturally rare
ecosystems. Inland outwash gravels and braided riverbeds, frost hollows and inland
sand dunes are originally rare ecosystems.

Key areas east of SH8 not adequately protected are:
The Tekapo River terraces and eastern outwash plains
Mackenzie Guardians support the proposed conservation land status for the eastern
alluvial terraces adjacent to the Tekapo River (CA1), however the proposed boundary
and new fence (y to z) would result in undesirable visual outcomes. A boundary that is
more inclusive of the whole landform surface and one which maintains the existing
uniformity, continuity and openness of the landscape and associated ecosystem, is
recommended. For, These alluvial terraces provide the continuity and linkage with other
geomorphic features, such as the outwash plains, that make the Mackenzie Basin so
distinctive, and help provide the District with an impression of spaciousness.

Inclusion of the terrace and a part of the higher rolling moraine surface under fescue
tussock grassland would protect an intact sequence of habitats including terrace crest,
scarp, footslope, outwash and recent alluvial terrace through to gravel riverbed. Rather
than protecting one or two habitat sequences – patches, as currently proposed – there
would be much greater value in protecting the sequence to allow for natural ecological
processes to continue to operate and for species to migrate in response to climate

Mackenzie Guardians submission The Wolds Pastoral Lease March 2011
change. The larger the area the more resilient it will be and the higher its ecological
These areas have low to very low pastoral value. Extensive modification would be
required to support productive pastoral use or would be potentially forested. Either
option would have significant adverse effects with respect to fragmentation of intact
landforms, ecosystems and landscape integrity and would very likely result in loss of
rare and threatened species.
To best retain the impressive open and large-scale naturalistic landscape of the central
Mackenzie Basin, the existing intact sequence of landforms and vegetation cover
between the area of border dyked paddocks and the Tekapo River should be protected
in perpetuity.
Triangular section of Unoccupied Crown land adjoining the northeast corner of
the lease.
A 451 ha triangular shaped block of outwash terrace on unoccupied Crown land
adjacent to the Wolds lease should be protected. It includes two ephemeral tarns,
modified fescue tussock grassland with scattered matagouri and stonefield. It has good
quality fescue tussock grassland, which is now rare in the Mackenzie Basin and
supports an unusually diverse insect fauna. Moa bones have been found at this site.
Key areas west of SH8 not adequately protected are:
Land immediately west of SH8

Mackenzie Guardians do not support unencumbered freeholding of land immediately
west of SH8. This part of the property is clearly visible from the main highway corridor
and meets the “highest significance” and “high significance” landscape criteria used by
the Department of Conservation to identify SIV’s.

The land has significant landscape and visual values in particular the homogenous cover
of short tussock grassland and grey shrubland over extensive areas of various interrelated
glacial and fluvio-glacial landforms that are distinct and impressive, with high
naturalness and legibility values and a highly memorable sense of openness and
The area is an “At Risk” Land Environment that still contains a significant presence of
indigenous species representative and typical of this environment that should be
To retain the open grassland-shrubland landscape there should be a conservation
covenant to avoid new buildings and the clearance of indigenous vegetation, earthworks,
direct drilling and other soil disturbance, and tree planting; and, to require weed control,
such as of wilding trees.
The Mary Range
Mackenzie Guardians support CA2, the designated 70 ha as shrubland on the northeast
toe slopes of the Mary Range to be restored to or retained in full Crown ownership and
The western slopes of the Mary Range
The proposal fails to protect a large area of land with significant inherent values from
Lake Pukaki to the crest of the Mary Range on its western slopes. This land is a

Mackenzie Guardians submission The Wolds Pastoral Lease March 2011
continuation of the same landscape, which has been recommended for protection on
Simons Pass and makes the same contribution to the natural landscape setting for Lake

The area is visually important from the Tekapo Canal Road and is distinctive for its
hummocky moraine, dryland habitats and indigenous vegetation.
This area forms part of the largest and most intact sequence of lateral moraine glacial
landforms and associated dryland habitats and plant communities remaining in the
Mackenzie Basin. (N. Head 2007 Pukaki Lateral Moraine Botanical Survey – The
Wolds Unpublished DoC Report.)
A rockland in the central part of the area of moraine retains considerable indigenous
vegetation and is of great botanical importance. DoC (June 2004) “The Wolds
Proposed Designation Report”.
Shrublands of matagouri, small leaved coprosmas, mountain wineberry, porcupine
shrub, climbers and other species are in good condition and provide habitat for several
threatened species including a dwarf broom, coral broom, a bidibid and a mat daisy.
Mackenzie Guardians seek the return of this area to full Crown ownership and control to
protect its significant values including its outstanding glacial landscapes and lakeside
settings. Protection of a larger area will enable natural ecological processes to operate
normally and be able to respond to changes in climate.
On the lower western slopes of the property adjacent to the Lake Pukaki shoreline,
wilding conifers are overwhelming indigenous vegetation and Mackenzie Guardians
request funding for the Department of Conservation to control the spread of wildings in
this area.
Mt Mary – No public access
From the top of the Mary Range (995m) there are spectacular 360-degree views across
the Mackenzie Basin to Lake Pukaki, the Ben Ohau Range and Aoraki. The opportunity
to walk along the Mary Range would provide a real appreciation of the whole Basin, its
structure and vastness, and would create a major recreation and tourism asset.

The whole area can be viewed from the top of the Mary Range so the intactness and
legibility of the whole collection of landforms able to be seen together from east to west
without interruption is an exceptional value.”
(A. Steven Report to DOC 2007).
Mary Burn stream and associated wetlands
The Mary Burn wetland is one of the largest and most important wetlands in the
Mackenzie Basin. Wetlands are important because there are so few remaining, less than
10% in Canterbury. All agencies involved with land management decisions should
promote the protection and restoration of any remaining wetlands. A whole system or
landscape scale approach is required.
Mackenzie Guardians do not support the freeholding of wetland and riparian corridors.
To protect the continuity of riparian shrublands, all of the larger area and the full length
of the Mary Burn stream south of the wetland should become conservation land and part
fenced off to exclude stock, and ensure weeds and pests are managed under a
conservation covenant.

Mackenzie Guardians submission The Wolds Pastoral Lease March 2011
The Mary Burn wetland area includes a wide variety of distinctive habitats for
invertebrates, freshwater fauna and birds.
The dry outwash plain to the north of the wetland area should also be protected as a
natural feature with a naturalistic vegetation cover, as its juxtaposition with the wetlands
and the tussock and shrub covered moraine is a startling natural feature seen from the
Canal road.
Public access should also be provided to the proposed Mary Burn Wetland scientific
reserve to view the wetland and bird life.

High country landscapes are a national taonga (treasure). They are important to all New
Many of the remaining less-developed grasslands of the Mackenzie Basin are
significant, especially the plant and animal communities of extensive, largely
undeveloped landform sequences remaining to the north and east of Twizel. These
areas meet all PNAP and Canterbury Regional Policy Statement criteria for significance,
are present on land environments that are distinctive and mainly or wholly confined to
the Mackenzie Basin, almost entirely comprise naturally rare ecosystems (National
Priority 3) and wetlands (National Priority 2), and are the last remaining habitats of some
of New Zealand’s most endangered plant, bird and freshwater fish species (National
Policy 4). Their irreplaceability and extreme vulnerability to ongoing loss makes
protection a priority using international criteria.
(Dr Susan Walker, evidence to Upper Waitaki Hearing Para 90).

Tenure Review should seek to maintain and enhance natural landscape values and
protect significant native vegetation. Habitats for threatened species should be protected
and enhanced.
As the preliminary proposal substantially fails to provide for landscape and ecological
protection and recreational opportunities, tenure review should be halted and the
property remain as a pastoral lease.

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1 thought on “losing our commons/protect the Wolds

  1. Maryburn stream is a lovely stream that we don’t have much of in this region, lets not ruin it.

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