'Valuable' feedback given on tenure review

The Tussock Creek helicopter sits on a hilltop as the Nokomai Nevis Miners Riding trail streams out below on Ben Nevis Station during one of Otago’s annual Cavalcades. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
The Tussock Creek helicopter sits on a hilltop as the Nokomai Nevis Miners Riding trail streams out below on Ben Nevis Station during one of Otago’s annual Cavalcades. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
A summary of more than 3000 submissions received on management of the South Island high country will be released next month.

Public consultation was launched by Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage following the announcement in February that the Government was scrapping tenure review.

Tenure review is a voluntary process whereby Crown pastoral land can be sold to a leaseholder and areas with high ecological and recreational value can be returned to Crown ownership as conservation land.

In a statement, Land Information New Zealand acting deputy chief executive, policy and overseas investment Jamie Kerr said Linz was very impressed with the number and quality of submissions.

There was a big job ahead to read through all the feedback and understand what it meant for the proposed changes to the management of Crown pastoral land, Mr Kerr said.

''The feedback we've received is very valuable in terms of shaping the outcomes we want to achieve for the land and understanding the best ways to achieve them.

''The consultation has started some really productive conversations with a range of people that will not only inform legislative change, but Linz's operational practices, too,'' he said.

The Crown owns about 1.2million hectares of Crown pastoral land, mostly in the South Island high country.

A discussion document outlined proposed changes and sought public comment. The changes included making decision-making by the Commissioner of Crown Lands more accountable and transparent; providing more guidance and standards for the commissioner's decisions on leaseholder applications for activities such as burning and forestry; requiring the Commissioner to obtain expert advice and consult as necessary when considering applications for discretionary consents; updating the fees and charges framework; and requiring regular reporting against a monitoring framework.

The submissions would inform advice to Ms Sage and the Government on potential changes to the Crown pastoral land regulatory system, the Crown Pastoral Land Act 1998 and consequential changes to the Land Act 1948.

There would be a further opportunity for the public to comment when a parliamentary select committee considered a Bill.

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