10 Mar 2010

Carter confident of resolution on high country rent

1:50 pm on 10 March 2010

Agriculture Minister David Carter is confident a Government review of proposed rent increases for South Island high country pastoral leases will make further legal action on the issue unnecessary.

High Country farmers challenged proposed rental hikes and the way they were calculated before the Land Valuation Tribunal last year, using Wanaka's Minaret Station as a test case.

The tribunal backed the farmers' view that amenity values, such as views, should not be included when calculating the rent that pastoral leaseholders pay.

The Solicitor-General appealed the ruling to get further clarification.

But Mr Carter is hoping that proposals he'll take to Cabinet soon will resolve the issues over high country rents.

He expects the process will take about two months and, in the mean time, legal proceedings have been set aside.

Mr Carter says the Government is also still working on revising the tenure review process which he says is aimed at providing a more balanced result between free-holding high country land and retiring areas for conservation.