FMC is asking for major changes to the preliminary proposal put forward by LINZ in regard to the tenure review of Simon’s Pass pastoral lease in the McKenzie country.
The tenure review of highcountry pastoral leases has been a fraught process for some time. The hierarchy of interests prescribed by the Crown Pastoral Lease Act, which gives priority to promoting the management of land in a way that is ecologically sustainable and that protects its significant inherent values, has often been downplayed and skirted by economic interests given less consideration by the law.
Behind closed doors, in the arms of consultants incentivised to close deals, and under the instruction of a government focused on short-term economic growth, the rigourous statutory test has gradually morphed into becoming a balancing act, a consideration of perceived fairness, or a barter.
It is possible that this issue has now come to head in the heart of the McKenzie Country. Simons Pass pastoral lease sits on the terminal moraine of Lake Pukaki and follows down the left bank of the braided Pukaki river. LINZ and the scientific community are at loggerheads on what should be considered “ecologically significant”, even debating what those words mean, within, or without, the context of tenure review. It is a dispute that may end up in the courts, but may also given the ephemeral nature of tenure review, disappear tomorrow if the property was withdrawn from the process.
- FMC’s submission can be found here: Simons Pass Crown pastoral tenure review
- The Environmental Defence society submissions and accompanying evidence from ecologist Susan Walker and landscape architect Di Lucas can be found here: EDS Submission.