12 Jun 2017

Fed Farmers withdraws appeal over Mackenzie Basin

6:05 pm on 12 June 2017

Federated Farmers has withdrawn its appeal over the Environment Court's Mackenzie Basin decision.

Mackenzie Basin

Mackenzie Basin Photo: RNZ / Kate Gudsell

The area in the South Island has been at the centre of a 10-year court battle after farmers and landowners opposed tougher development rules proposed by the Mackenzie District Council.

Federated Farmers' appeal was over the proposed changes, called Plan Change 13, and the court's decision to confirm the plan.

The Environment Court found that pastoral intensification and agricultural conversion in the Mackenzie Basin was often inappropriate and unsustainable.

The controversial Plan Change 13 would restrict farmers using irrigation and subsequently 'greening the basin'.

Federated Farmers' High Country executive member Andrew Simpson said the appeal was intended to clarify parts of the plan around farming practices.

"We lodged the appeal knowing we needed some clarification around some of the rulings, and if we didn't lodge an appeal we lost the right to appeal at a later stage."

Mr Simpson said Federated Farmers got some legal clarification around certain issues last week.

"We kept our council fully informed as to why we lodged the appeal."

Federated Farmers wanted to spend less time in court and more time around the table for discussions, said Mr Simpson.