Mackenzie Guardians’ welcome Labour’s halt to High Country Tenure Review
19 October 2011
Mackenzie Guardians endorse Labour’s policy on halting South Island High Country tenure review. The Guardians are concerned that the National Government is ignoring the conservation values of our High Country lakesides and landscape. Experts have advised Government that our dryland ecosystems and landscapes require protection. The National Government policy of freeholding Crown land will likely result in intensive factory farming and subdivision of lakeside property. The Guardians believe that well-managed leasehold land provides better landscape protection than the free market.
The Mackenzie Guardians oppose current proposals to freehold major iconic areas such as The Wolds and Maryburn Stations. These beautiful tussock lands are the scene-setters for our Mackenzie Country experience. It is short-sighted of Government Agencies to privaticise Crown lands as the landscape values contribute millions to our NZ’s tourism income. It makes a mockery of the Prime Minister’s stated concern at dairy conversions in the Mackenzie Country.
The dryland tussock ecosystems across the Basin floor are internationally significant. Many New Zealanders don’t want these lands lost to intensive development. It is heartening that Labour is proposing a ‘drylands conservation park’ to ensure these values are protected. These precious natural lakeside areas at present belong to us all.