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SJB



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# 246668 15-Feb-2019 14:31
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I'm not a particular supporter of the government but I must congratulate them on abandoning the high country tenure review process.

 

I doubt many New Zealanders know that for the last 20 years successive governments have effectively been giving away public land at knockdown prices to leaseholders in the South Island high country.

 

Around 500,000 hectares that was once owned by you and me is now in private hands and in most cases they are extremely affluent hands. Some of the most desirable land around places like the Lake Wanaka shoreline is now owned by billionaires or multi-millionaires and is inaccessible to the public. Other areas have been turned into golf courses or gated communities with houses in the $10 million to $25 million range.

 

This has also led to more intensive farming in places like the Mackenzie where the once beautiful, stark landscape has been blighted by large swathes of green created by irrigation and munched on by large dairy herds.

 

Canceling the review process hasn't come a moment too soon although, depressingly, most of the properties where the leaseholders derived huge benefit from it and the public a huge loss, have already been processed. There are very few stations left that would have entered the process anyway and the 40 or so that are currently being reviewed should be canceled immediately.

 

It's a public disgrace and not a single person will hold their hand up and say sorry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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  # 2189443 1-Mar-2019 14:55
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I am no expert in this, but my understanding is that especially foreshore agreements always come with cavets about continued public access? There was a big fuss recently that Matt what's his face had an agreement that was later attempted to be renegotiated after the fact. 

 

 


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  # 2189511 1-Mar-2019 16:15
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One infamous example is owned by the PayPal mate of Trump, Peter Thiel (you know, the guy who got citizenship after only being in NZ for 12 days). He bought 190 ha of the Wanaka foreshore intending to build a mansion there which ultimately got turned down.

 

The section has since stayed undeveloped but fenced off from the public.

 

For anyone interested here is an informative Stuff article (yes I know that's an oxymoron) which covers the subject in detail. It's a good read.

 

https://interactives.stuff.co.nz/2018/01/half-a-million-hectares-sold/

 

 


 
 
 
 


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  # 2189603 1-Mar-2019 19:40
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@SJB

 

Thanks for the link. A very sobering read.


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  # 2257373 13-Jun-2019 12:44
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An update to this issue.

 

Apparently legislation has to be passed to stop this process and it won't happen until next year at the earliest. Meantime circa $90 million has been earmarked to carry on with it until the legislation passes.

 

This means that pretty well every high country lease holder that ever wanted to go through this process (and thereby line his pockets at the taxpayers expense) will have been processed.

 

The minister responsible, Julie-Ann Genter, was only too happy to get the plaudits for stopping this rort when she announced it but, as usual with politicians, it was hot air.

 

Why she can't simply tell LINZ, who I assume she is responsible for, to hold off or go slow I just don't know. Or withdraw funding, that would stop it in it's tracks.  


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