Part of the Soho Properties Land being placed under
protective covenants. Photo by QEII National Trust
More than 50,000 hectares of high country between Lake
Wanaka and Queenstown will be protected in the largest ever
conservation undertaking on private land in New Zealand's
In an agreement between the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust
and a company linked with millionaire record producer Robert
"Mutt'' Lange, most of Motatapu, Mount Soho, Glencoe and
Coronet Peak stations will placed under protective covenants.
The four stations, which are leased in perpetuity by Soho
Properties Ltd, cover 53,000ha of land - equal in size to the
combined areas of Paparoa and Abel Tasman national parks.
The agreement was announced in Queenstown this afternoon.
Trust chairman James Guild said it was "truly inspirational''
to see an overseas investor make such a commitment to care
for an iconic New Zealand landscape.
"The landholder's selfless gesture goes far beyond any
Overseas Investment Office requirements.
"It protects a vast area of iconic Central Otago landscape
and opens up opportunities for the public to get up into the
high country and enjoy the unique experiences this sort of
The covenants would also protect native plant and animal
habitat, historic and recreation values.
The agreement would formalise public access, and the
landholder and the Trust were also working with the New
Zealand Walking Access Commission, the Commissioner of Crown
Lands, the Queenstown Trails Trust and local walking and
mountain biking groups to create further public access
opportunities, he said.
The covenants are expected to be formally registered early
next year, after the completion of survey work and processing
by the Commissioner of Crown Lands.