INDEPENDENT NEWS

Middle Earth Fears Unfounded

Published: Mon 1 Dec 2003 03:47 PM
Middle Earth Fears Unfounded
Claims that tenure review and overseas investment mean selling off Middle Earth are as fictitious as Middle Earth itself, says Charlie Pedersen, Vice President, Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc).
Mr Pedersen was responding to a claim that the review of High Country leases is failing to protect New Zealand's landscapes.
"Once again, interest groups have got the wrong end of the stick and are deliberately promoting misinformation about tenure review. They should leave the dramatics to Peter Jackson and his Lord of the Rings team- they're much better at it.
"Fears about tenure review and freeholding are unfounded. The very purpose of tenure review is to protect the special landscapes of the High Country. It is a win-win situation, for the leaseholders, the Government and the general public.
"Tenure review means that land of conservation value is recognised as such and is placed in public hands. We shouldn't forget The Lord of the Rings films happened because of foreign investment.
"The Lord of the Rings imagery is fantastic, but the digitalised skies and landscape seen in the films is not New Zealand. How can we possibly lose this imagery when it doesn't exist?
"The tenure review process is designed to have adequate safeguards in place to prevent inappropriate development in areas of conservation value and to ensure access.
"The modification of the High Country's natural environment has produced the altered landscape we see today. Landowner management has contributed much to the splendour of the High Country. The fact that environmentalists cry out to retain this modified and managed landscape is testament to farmer's skills," Mr Pedersen concluded.

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