7 Mar 2015

Land gifted to New Zealanders

12:54 pm on 7 March 2015

He's a multi-millionaire record producer, singer Shania Twain's ex-husband and a big fan of New Zealand.

A deal between Mutt Lange and the QE-II National Trust has been formalised, confirming Mr Lange's gift to New Zealanders of 95 percent of four high country stations between Queenstown and Wanaka.

It is the largest private conservation covenant in New Zealand history and was marked by a special ceremony in Arrowtown this morning.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Governor General Sir Gerry Mateparae acknowledged the enormous generosity of the international businessman who gifted the land.

Sir Mateparae said the 53,000 hectares will be protected in perpetuity.

"It's a personal decision to give over your land, it's a personal decision to engage with others. It's a personal decision that Russell who's managing the farms has helped the QE-II national trust to put together something which means that New Zealanders can enjoy."

Mr Lange was not at the ceremony.

The manager of his properties Russell Hamilton said Mr Lange held very strong beliefs about the environment and wanted to protect the land for future generations.

Mr Lange will pour millions of dollars into restoring the land to its former high country glory.

Tracks will be built for the public to access the area, on bike, foot and horse back.

The deal will protect iconic high country over most of Motatapu, Mount Soho, Glencoe and Coronet Peak stations. The area is roughly equal in size to the combined areas of Abel Tasman and Paparoa national parks.

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