Covenants to protect Queenstown stations

Part of the Soho Properties Land being placed under protective covenants. Photo by QEII National Trust
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 history.

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 environment offers.''

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.

Thanks Mutt

This goes to show we should only sell land to vegetarian members of Indian sects that live in Switzerland and at some time in their life produced an ACDC record.