FMC, representing 20,000 trampers and mountaineers in 80 clubs across New Zealand believes that Land Information New Zealand and the Commissioner of Crown Lands place a low priority on public access when freeholding parts of the high country.
FMC Vice President Jan Finlayson stated that a key objective of tenure review, under the Crown Pastoral Land Act 1998 was to secure public access and enjoyment of land, but that “LINZ tends to neglect what the law tells them to do. They wrongly treat tenure review as a bargaining process, ending up giving away too much as freehold, keeping too little for conservation, and strangling recreational access.
“Sometimes there’s simply too little access; sometimes it’s impractical; either way, it’s often Claytons access.”
FMC is heavily involved in tenure review across the South Island.
“We endorse the concerns raised by the Otago Fish and Game Council on the Hukarere review in South Otago. We are seeing similar things in the Mackenzie Basin where public access doesn’t get proper consideration.”
Ms Finlayson, a former chairperson of the Canterbury-Aoraki Conservation Board thought that the problem occurred due to the highly fragmented nature of tenure review. “The law’s good. But tenure review outcomes often look nothing like the legislation that drives them. Between the layers of consultants, different government agencies, a lack of resourcing for the Department of Conservation, and an unaccountable Commissioner for Crown Lands, public access concerns are lost”
Contact Jan Finlayson: 021-502-297