Introduced to the House in July by the then Minister of Land Information, the Hon Eugenie Sage, the Crown Pastoral Land Reform Bill was drafted in early 2019 following consultation on enduring stewardship of Crown pastoral land. Submissions are now open for you to have your say on this proposed legislation.

The Bill records the following proposed key changes:

•      Ending the tenure review process which has resulted in former Crown pastoral land being freeholded and subject to more intensive farming

•      Moving towards an outcomes-based approach to encourage pastoral farming that is sustainable, and decision-making that better recognises impacts on inherent values

•      Providing a clearer, more transparent, statutory decision-making process, with stronger accountability mechanisms and more opportunity for public input, and

•      Supporting strong and enduring Crown-Maori relationships and recognising the relationship of tangata whenua with their ancestral lands.

The Bill classifies pastoral activities as permitted, discretionary or prohibited according to the impact of those activities on inherent land values. Discretionary activities require consent from the Commissioner of Crown Lands. Discretionary consent applications being processed if and when the Bill comes into force will be considered under the new system.

The Commissioner may decline discretionary pastoral activities or recreation permits if there is a reasonable alternative that has fewer adverse effects on inherent land values.

To have your say on this proposed legislation, submissions on the Bill are now open. Look here for more information.