INDEPENDENT NEWS

EDS not convinced abandoning tenure review is a good thing

Published: Sun 17 Feb 2019 11:12 AM
EDS not convinced abandoning tenure review is a good thing
The Environmental Defence Society (EDS) has concerns about the decision to abandon tenure review, as described in the discussion paper released by Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) today.
“We are surprised that the Government has already decided to abandon tenure review rather than consult on that proposition,” said EDS CEO Gary Taylor.
“It is presenting the public with a fait accompli on the big issue and then consulting on secondary matters. It would have been better to get public feedback before making such a big call. Tenure review, if run properly, could be a useful tool.
“The problem has arguably been in its implementation which has seen the public ripped off and leaseholders given exorbitant profits. Past administrative errors and processes could have been addressed whilst retaining the ability to use tenure review to achieve reversion of full ownership of highly valued land to the Crown.
“Instead, the only remaining tool to achieve that outcome is buying out a leaseholder’s interests. But there is no commitment to funding that. Without dedicated funding being part of the new policy settings, we are left with a pretty empty tool box.
“The discussion paper is otherwise a fair and honest appraisal of the inadequacies of the present set-up for managing the Crown’s interests in the High Country. Clearly the Government is looking for a fix and is looking to retain a long-term interest in the land.
“The proposed continuing reliance on a discretionary consenting process administered by the Commissioner of Crown Lands as a sustainability driver is also problematic. The report does propose some greater degree of accountability for the Commissioner but does not consider alternative approaches.
“The Commissioner is the most unaccountable civil servant in the country and past Commissioners have made decisions that are questionable in law. Approving massive dairy conversions in the Mackenzie Basin are a case in point.
“It may be that the Commissioner’s role should be axed altogether and a new approach adopted that would achieve improved accountability and better alignment with RMA processes.
“This paper needs be read alongside LINZ’s recently released review of its regulatory systems. That review is a remarkably candid analysis of historical shortcomings in managing Crown pastoral leases. LINZ is clearly determined to lift its game with new leadership and frank self-evaluation.
“So notwithstanding our concerns about some of the content in today’s report, EDS remains supportive of LINZ and its Minister as they work to improve outcomes in the High Country.
“We will be seeking a meeting with the Minister of Finance to discuss how a dedicated acquisition fund could be created to replace tenure review. That is the key missing link in the new regime.
“We will be carefully reviewing the report and will make a substantive submission by the closing date of 12 April,” Mr Taylor concluded.
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 influence.
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.
Contact Environmental Defence Society
Website:
Mobile:
84938187724
Facebook:
Email:
Phone:

Next in New Zealand politics

Primary teachers vote for settlement
By: NZEI
Pike River: Weeks of work before team gets beyond 170 metres
By: RNZ
New report calls for four-year term, more MPs in Parliament
By: RNZ
Ban on smoking in cars with children passes first reading
By: RNZ
Fair Pay Agreements will make working life better
By: New Zealand Council of Trade Unions
Amy Adams to retire from politics at election
By: New Zealand National Party
Gordon Campbell on yesterday’s cosmetic banking reforms
By: Gordon Campbell
Police use of force following pursuit in Auckland
By: Independent Police Conduct Authority
Ministry response to NZEI Ballot Result
By: Ministry of Education
Primary teachers settle but principals reject
By: New Zealand National Party
Pike River Mine 30m - 170m drift examined
By: Pike River Recovery Agency
'Archaic' law allows multiple-property owners extra votes
By: RNZ
Parliament does well to separate smoking from vaping
By: Alt New Zealand
Fair Pay Agreements Better for Workers And Good Employers
By: Public Service Association
Transport workers support Fair Pay Agreements
By: Rail And Maritime Transport Union
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media