17 Feb 2019

Land information minister announces end of tenure review

10:49 am on 17 February 2019

The government is proposing sweeping changes to the rules followed by farmers leasing Crown land.

Eugenie Sage speaking on the steps of Parliament

Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

This week Land Information minister Eugenie Sage announced the end of tenure review, under which leased high-country Crown land could be signed over to farmers provided they set aside areas for conservation.

On Sunday she went further with plans to tighten the rules for the 171 properties that remained in Crown hands.

Farmers and the wider community would be consulted on requiring the Commissioner of Crown Lands to seek expert advice and consult when leasehold farmers asked for permission to irrigate and farm more intensively.

The intention was to safeguard natural landscapes, indigenous biodiversity and cultural and heritage values.

There were currently no plans to change the system for setting rents on Crown land.