9 Oct 2008

Station purchase irresponsible, says high country group

10:04 am on 9 October 2008

The Government's decision to buy St James Station in North Canterbury has upset a high country farming group.

The 78,000 hectare property in North Canterbury has been purchased for $40 million.

The Government says it bought the Station to conserve it and protect it from future development.

But High Country Accord chair Ben Todhunter says the move is irresponsible and a gross misallocation of funds, especially given the current state of the Government's finances.

He says he doubts it will be able maintain the property, as the Department of Conservation is actively managing only about 2% of its estate.