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Home arrow Other Coastlines arrow The Rest arrow Government quits land negotiations
Government quits land negotiations PDF Print
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Other Coastlines - The Rest
Written by Colin Espiner, The Press   
Friday, 22 June 2007

Important landscapes that border South Island lakes will be protected from development after a U-turn by the Government over high-country tenure review.

Land Information Minister David Parker and Conservation Minister Chris Carter yesterday pulled the plug on negotiations with over 40 runholders on land surrounding lakes Tekapo, Wanaka and Wakatipu, saying they were concerned about the possibility of housing developments.

More than 300 pastoral leases are eligible for tenure review under a process where farmers agree to allow unproductive parts of farmland to go into the Department of Conservation (DOC) estate in exchange for freehold rights to higher-value parts of their farms.

But in some cases, particularly around Lake Wanaka, farmers have then sold their newly freeholded land to developers for huge profits, resulting in prime lakefront vistas being built out by housing.

Carter said yesterday that the Government had learnt its lesson from the sales.

...we could lose something incredibly important to future generations of New Zealanders. We don't want to see that happening again.

"One of the things that the Government has been increasingly concerned about is the subdivision that's been taking place on our iconic lakes and waterways," he said.

"What happened at Lake Wanaka was a wake-up call for us. That we could lose something incredibly important to future generations of New Zealanders. We don't want to see that happening again."

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