Government to consider Ruahine land swap decision

  • Maggie Barry

The Government will consider the implications of today’s Supreme Court decision on conservation land swaps, Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says.

“The 84-page decision deals with a number of very complex issues with far reaching implications which will take some time to work through,” Minister Barry says.

“The appeal to the Supreme Court was not about whether the Ruataniwha Dam should go ahead – it was about obtaining clarity after differing  and split decisions from the High Court and the Court of Appeal.”

“For the past 30 years we all believed that the legislation allowed the swap of a low value piece of conservation land for a piece of land with higher conservation values.”

“The Supreme Court finding that the Director General cannot consider that broader picture has far reaching implications and we will now be working through the effects of that.”

“My concern is to manage public conservation land in a way that will achieve the best possible outcomes for conservation.”

“We will now look at changing the law to ensure we can continue to improve conservation outcomes by having the ability to make land swaps where the outcome would be a win for conservation.”

“Having that ability is particularly important for regional New Zealand where most of the DOC estate is located. Swapping lower value land for higher value land is sensible and a win-win for the regions,” Ms Barry says.