Proposal for managing issues in the Mackenzie Basin is welcomed

Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith and Environment Minister Amy Adams have welcomed a report proposing a way to manage the contentious land intensification, water, landscape, and biodiversity issues in the Mackenzie Basin.

The plan is being promoted to safeguard the future of South Canterbury’s Mackenzie Basin, but it is dependent on Government funding and new legislation.

It has been produced by a wide range of organisations connected to the area, including community groups, farmers, environment experts, and irrigation groups.

Under the plan, a Mackenzie Country Trust would be established to help landowners and organisations work together to boost the region’s agriculture, tourism and biodiversity.

The ministers said:

“This report is the result of a collaborative process by more than 30 groups and individuals working together to develop options for the future of the basin,” the Ministers say.

“The focus has been on investigating ways the biodiversity and special character of the land can be enhanced, while ensuring tourism and farming continue to develop.”

This collaborative process was initiated in preference over protracted court proceedings for development proposals in the district.

The ministerial statement said:

“It is far more constructive to have diverse interest groups working together on a shared vision for an area than having years of protest, court proceedings and community tensions.

“The report makes a number of recommendations for both central and local government. The Ministry for the Environment and the Department of Conservation will now take time to consider the report and its recommendations.

“We would like to thank all those involved in the development of these proposals. Gaining consensus across such a diverse group of people and interests took considerable effort from everyone.”

Other reactions can be found here and here.

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