Crown land sold at bargain basement prices a lost opportunity for the NZ public

Unless the Government reviews its processes for valuing high country pastoral lease land, it will continue to give away millions of dollars to private interests that should be going to the New Zealand public, the Green Party said today.

This follows analysis from Lincoln University researchers showing that farmers are making huge profits from on-selling Crown land that is sold to them under the tenure review process - land that they had previously leased from the Crown.

Green Party conservation and land information spokesperson Eugenie Sage said there should be a moratorium on allowing any more pastoral lease land into private ownership until Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) reviews the way it values the land.

“Scenic views and landscape values are not adequately factored into LINZ’s valuations. They rely on the land’s agricultural value for grazing.

“This means farmers who buy land that they have previously leased as farms can flog it off and make big capital gains on it by subdividing.

“Research shows the Crown sold land for $11 million between 1992 and 2015 that was then on-sold for $303 million.

“The New Zealand public has lost out on this huge capital gain. Think of what the Government could have done with that money instead of allowing these high country lands to be privatised at bargain basement prices. New Zealanders are not getting value for money out of this process,” said Ms Sage.

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