The management of the Mackenzie Country is set to be reviewed after years of litigation over the way the area has been developed.
Earlier this year the Environment Court found that intensification and agricultural conversion in the area was inappropriate and unsustainable.
Nearly half of the area has been converted to intensive land uses.
The Environmental Defence Society proposed the independent review saying it was a really important step forward for the Mackenzie Basin.
Its chief executive, Gary Taylor, said the area was clearly at a tipping point and it was time for a review.
"This is at a time when the current management regimes of the key players are poorly synchronised and are leading to cumulative losses of both indigenous vegetation including tussock grasslands and of outstanding landscapes."
Mr Taylor said the review would look at how the different agencies co-operate, what the capacity for more intensification in the area was and the role of the Overseas Investment Office.
The agencies include the Department of Conservation, Land Information New Zealand, Canterbury Regional Council, and the Waitaki and Mackenzie District Councils.
An independent reviewer is yet to be appointed and the work is expected to take several months.