While it is fun in the sun for many, work continues for the FMC Tenure Review team submitting on preliminary proposals for the future of our high country. Recent submissions included both Mt Dasher Station in the Kakanui Mountains and Godley Peaks Station at the head of Lake Tekapo.
Mt Dasher sits high above the pig route (SH 85). It is one of a patchwork of high country stations on the Kakanui Mountains and the land to be returned to the Crown is another piece to the puzzle of what might eventually be continuous public land stretching from coast to coast across the South Island (perhaps the only place this is possible south of Kaikoura). This country is bisected by Peter Hayden’s original 45degree south traverse. The Kakanui’s may eventually receive the boost in popularity that the adjacent Ida and Hawkdun ranges have received since the formation of Oteake Conservation Park.
Godley Peaks on the other hand is classic South Canterbury High Country. Steep county mixed with flat terraces on the edge of wide valleys. As usual much of the steep country is proposed for return to the crown, with the flats to be freeholded for intensive farming. The big issue with the proposal though for FMC is the proposed public access, which deviates widely around the uncertain margins of the river and lake. The obvious access road used by the farm and also proposed for conservation purposes, which accesses the head of the Godley valley as well as its tributary Mistake Creek is not thought appropriate for public use.
It does seem a situation that the current lessee is seeking to stitch up access to the public land abutting the freehold for commercial activities such as heli-skiing/hunting/hiking, which while all good activities in themselves, should not be accommodated at the expense of workable public access.
FMC’s Tenure Review Convenor is Peter Wilson.