Media Release: EDS joins High Court appeal on Simons Pass Station dairy conversion

The Environmental Defence Society (EDS) is applying to the High Court to join an appeal brought by Simons Pass Station Ltd against Mackenzie District Council.

The appeal seeks to overturn Environment Court declarations that mean discretionary land use consents will be required before dairy expansion can occur on the property.

“Simons Pass Station, a hybrid of freehold and Crown pastoral lease land, is a 9,700 ha property located near Lake Pukaki in the Mackenzie Country. It is currently in tenure review,” said EDS CEO Gary Taylor.

“The case is important because it will decide whether publicly notified resource consents will be needed before agricultural conversion by direct drilling or irrigation can take place. Irrigation is currently proposed for 4,500Ha of the property.

“If the provisions of the new Plan Change 13 apply, then obtaining these consents will, in my opinion, be challenging to obtain and the conversion might be stopped in its tracks.

“This case is important because of the size of the property and the natural values it possesses. Simons Pass Station is an outstanding landscape and it has nationally important ecological values that would be destroyed by irrigation and dairy farming. It is in defence of those values that led EDS to engage in the earlier Environment Court case which was a win for nature.

“The case is also important because of the signal its outcome will send to potential future conversion projects in the Mackenzie Country. It is likely to be the last attempt in the district, at least at this scale.

“EDS is applying to the High Court to join these fresh proceedings and will be supporting the Environment Court’s decision.

“Barrister Rob Enright will be appearing for EDS supported by our legal researcher Cordelia Woodhouse,” Mr Taylor concluded.

The Environment Court decision and the High Court appeal are available here.

Donations to support this proceeding can be made here.


Download full statement (pdf)

Last updated at 11:58AM on May 3, 2019