West Coasters deserve longer consultation

The Government’s desire to push through the reclassification of stewardship land on the West Coast does nothing to allay the fears of the communities affected, National’s Conservation spokesperson Jacqui Dean says.

“Stewardship land has been in limbo for 35 years since the Department of Conservation was established, but now that recommendations have been delivered the Labour Government seems to be a sudden rush to get the changes through public consultation and into law.


“The Government is giving local people just 40 business days to work their way through reports which cover the ecological, recreational, heritage and cultural values of more than half a million hectares of land on the West Coast.


“It’s unreasonable to expect West Coast locals to wade through thousands of pages of material relating to 504 separate pieces of land in such a short amount of time, in order to make a meaningful submission.


“Locals and special interest groups have raised concerns about the transparency of this process and the short consultation period doesn’t help.


“The Government must give weight to the value placed on this land by those who live and work on the West Coast. Decisions made now will have massive implications for the West Coast for generations to come and to wrap up public consultation in 40 working days isn’t good enough.”


Submissions close 26 July 2022