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Crown Contracts Are Worthless

Land Information Minister John Tamihere's announcement of new Government objectives during the Tenure Review of the South Island high country is just another example of why contracts with the Crown are worthless, ACT New Zealand Rural Affairs Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff said today.

"High country farmers seeking to freehold their land will be dismayed at further changes to the rules, to suit the avarice of some executive members of Forest and Bird. They seek nothing short of clearance of traditional farming practise from the high country," Mr Eckhoff said.

"The removal of stock from the high country will lead to increased utrification of waterways - due to the intensification of carrying capacity, and extensive use of nitrogen-based fertilisers and superphosphate, to compensate for the loss of higher altitude land.

"The Labour Government also seeks to financially cripple those who wish to remain under a pastoral lease. The demand of the `commercial' return for this part-Crown asset could well be an impossible burden as the RMA constrains a farmer's ability to seek a living from the land just to pay the increased rent.

"To add insult to injury, the Government is moving to force farmers to accept public access to their remaining private land," Mr Eckhoff said.

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