23 Nov 2012

High Country ruling

12:39 pm on 23 November 2012

The Environment Court has ruled that South Island High Country land privatised through the tenure review process can't be exempted from rules protecting native vegetation.

The Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society of New Zealand won the ruling in an appeal against Waitaki District Council, which was backed by Federated Farmers.

The council's district plan says restrictions against clearing native vegetation don't apply to former crown pastoral leasehold land that has been transfered to private ownership.

Forest & Bird Solicitor Sally Gepp said that meant farmers who had received High Country land through the tenure review process, were free to clear tussock and other important native vegetation.