High country station sale to Czech national raises worries over land meant for a National Park

A controversial high country station has been sold to a new owner, but there are concerns over a disputed piece of land which was meant for a National Park.

Land Information New Zealand has approved the sale of the 40,000 hectare Mt White Station near Arthur's Pass, including almost 1,000 hectares of land known as Riversdale flats.

The land was put aside for a national park in 1901 but was mistakenly included in the pastoral lease for the neighbouring Mt White station. It's since only had one owner but conservationists say the sale was the perfect opportunity to secure the land for its original purpose.

Forest and Bird Regional Manager Nicky Snoyink says a resolution is overdue.

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"I'm pretty disappointed in fact it's quite absurd that the Department of Conservation and LINZ haven't been able to resolve this issue," she said.

"The crown has failed to act in this instance. They need to get in there and make the changes to the legislation to ensure that these places are protected."

The new owner, a Czech national with a permanent residency visa, says he’s committed to ensuring public access to the site and is meeting with LINZ to discuss the future of the land later this week.

Riversdale flats was mistakenly included in the lease for Mt White Station. Source: 1 NEWS