EDS welcomes successful outcome of Mackenzie Country forum
The Environmental Defence Society welcomes today’s public launch of the Mackenzie Agreement in Twizel by Conservation
Minister Nick Smith.
“It is gratifying to see that the collaborative process over the future of the Mackenzie Country has borne fruit,” said
EDS Chairman Gary Taylor.
“The Mackenzie is a truly iconic part of New Zealand with its sweeping vistas and mountain surrounds. The tussock
grasslands of the basin are highly valued by all Kiwis and the agreement to protect a large proportion of them is
“The agreement proposes 100,000 hectares of the Mackenzie be protected for landscape and biodiversity conservation, with
26,000 hectares being agreed for intensified land development.
The method of conservation will be unique in New Zealand – establishing a Trust to negotiate joint management agreements
with private landowners and high country run-holders. This is similar to the private land conservation arrangements
practiced in some European countries.
“The process has, like all collaborative exercises, posed some challenges. It is hard to get over old enmities and
beyond position-stating into constructive dialogue. So I’d like to acknowledge the roles played by Richard Thompson
(facilitator), Guy Salmon (Project Manager) and Kelsey Serjeant (EDS representative).
“I’d also like to thank the Mackenzie and Waitaki District Councils for their support. Local MP Jacqui Dean has been an
effective broker between the participants and the government.
“This process had its genesis at an EDS Workshop we held in Twizel in November 2010. At the end of that day, the parties
agreed that dialogue was better than litigation and a long-term vision for the area should be agreed between the
landowners and interest groups.
“Over two years later, we have finally got there.
“The ball is now in the government’s court to introduce the recommended legislation to create the Mackenzie Country
Trust, and make a contribution to funding its work.”
Environmental Defence Society
EDS is a not-for-profit environmental organisation committed to improving environmental outcomes within New Zealand.
The Environmental Defence Society (EDS) is a professionally run, independent environmental group that was established in
1971. It brings together the disciplines of science, planning, landscape and the law.
MORE ABOUT EDS
It operates as a think-tank, providing thought leadership on key environmental issues as well as representing the
environment before councils and the courts.
EDS is located at the collaborative and business aware end of the environmental movement, seeking constructive
engagement with all sectors, to achieve good environmental and economic outcomes for all New Zealanders. It has
It also plays an education role, helping business, councils, community groups and iwi to better understand best
practice resource management. EDS runs national and regional conferences and seminars on topical issues.
EDS is a registered charity and donations to it are tax-deductible.