Farmers Forced From Their Land

Published: Wed 8 Oct 2003 02:53 PM
Farmers Forced From Their Land
Wednesday 8 Oct 2003 Gerry Eckhoff Press Releases -- Rural -- ACT Rural Website
ACT New Zealand Rural Affairs Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff today slammed councils throughout the country for failing to accept the prior use of farming as a legitimate practise on surrounding landscape, and labelled it as an affront to the traditional and cultural values of rural New Zealand.
"Urban environmentalists who have purchased their ideal piece of paradise are increasing the pressure to drive farmers from their land with appeals against alternative land use and their applications to subdivide," Mr Eckhoff said.
"Farmers are being hit from all sides, with the Department of Conservation taking their high altitude land in return for a freehold title only to find councils, in many cases, will not allow development on their remaining land.
"District plans, rates and, in some cases, tenure review are forcing landowners to sell out due to increasing pressure from urban New Zealand and self-appointed landscape architects. This is especially true in popular tourist areas such as Queenstown and Wänaka - where around four properties are on the market due to environmentalists' pressure on their farming operation.
"Farmers seeking to subdivide - having relinquished large areas of their land to DOC - are now finding the Environment Court is overtly sympathetic to urban New Zealand and ignore the rights of rural landowners, many of whom have relinquished over half of their original property in the interests of conservation and landscape values," Mr Eckhoff said.
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