13 Jun 2011

New High Country rent system taking time

12:43 pm on 13 June 2011

High Country farmers who lease Crown-owned pastoral land are worried about how long a new system for setting their rent is taking to get to Parliament.

Following a review, rents will now be based on the earning capacity of each farm rather than on the land value.

Pastoral lessee Donald Aubrey says while the new system is fairer, he's concerned about how much farmers will have to back pay on rents from previous years.

He says the uncertainty surrounding the value of those payments is stressful.

But Mr Aubrey says that while he's having to prepare for the back payments, he's comfortable with how the legislation is being handled.

High Country Accord Group says the Crown will allow the back payments to be paid off over five years.

Project manager Kit Mouat, who represents most farmers in the South Island with leasehold land, says a report is due back from a select committee this month and the bill will go to Parliament after that.

But he says it's unlikely the legislation will be passed before the end of the year.