Federated Farmers is congratulating the owners of Minaret Station and High Country Accord on the precedent setting Minaret decision, made last Friday by the Otago Land Valuation Tribunal (LVT). The Federation argues this decision reaffirms the property rights of High Country pastoral leaseholders.
“This is a refreshing result for commonsense and for property rights,” says Don Nicolson, President of Federated Farmers.
“It was a thinly veiled and unsubtle attempt to bring High Country farmers to heal. Either by using the valuation process to force farmers off the land or make them accede to the demands of the last Government.
“The last Government showed callous disregard for property rights. Pastoral leases dictate what farmers can and cannot do in the High Country yet such leases directly impart property rights associated with pastoral farming.
“There seems to be a significant volume of case law building in favour of High Country property rights. This is evident when the LVT decision is read in conjunction with Fish & Game’s unsuccessful challenge to High Country farmers exclusive possession of pastoral leasehold land.
“The new National-led Government seems to get property rights. It’s incredibly refreshing to have Minsters looking at what pastoral leases actually are rather than playing politics with people’s lives.
“I hope in this instance Land Information New Zealand is better able to read the tea-leaves without exposing the taxpayer and High Country farmers to extra unnecessary cost.
“Yet, the High Country is not the only area in which the Government needs to focus its attention. Indeed, the Resource Management Act is crying out for compensation provisions to establish the right of lawful users to receive compensation should a right in property be extinguished,” Mr Nicolson concluded.