The government is playing the blame game over the potential for continued restrictions on public access to Lake Hāwea conservation areas.
Hunter Valley The station surrounding the Hāwea Conservation Park was leased to former American TV presenter Matt Lauer for $ 1
The public access road cuts through the station, but Mr. Lauer is not interested in facilitating vehicle access.
Eugenie Sage, Minister of Land Information, shows former ministers Steven Joyce and Mark Mitchell that they have approved the lease without giving them full public access.
"They have not provided the New Zealanders with adequate access to Sentinel Peak, but not the vehicle access the Walking Access Commission has required to the northern end of the lake."
Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters calls it a shabby job of the Overseas Investment Office (OIO).
"The lawyer would not write what he is writing now if he is not on solid ground of neglect on the part of the OIO and the former National Party Government."
Matt Lauer's lawyer told the crown last, it would give him millions of compensation owe, if he would lay a dirt road for hitchhikers and hunters
Mr Lauer says now that it is not about the money.
"It's not a case of saying" he would want compensation "- your statute says that.
" Their statute says that if easement is placed on a property, the shepherd or the owner is entitled to compensation. I did not ask for a cent.
Ms. Sage said he would return for money if easement was granted.
"If you get relief over pastoral leases for public access, there would be compensation, but not the millions over that is talked.
The Walking Access Commission wants access to the lake directly into the lake and the nature reserve – a 40-km-long road and estimated two to three-hour drive.
A group in support of the proposal, the Federated Mountain Clubs, said New Zealanders needed access to pristine parts of our country.
Peter Wilson, President of the Federated Mountain Club, said access was still under surveillance.
"The easement proposal being negotiated is not unrestricted access. It is for a controlled and controlled access managed by the Department of Conservation.
Federated Farmers Otago president Simon Davies said he was worried that public access could set a precedent in this case – worrying prospects for tenants and landowners. "I know personally that I'm on my farm would be very angry and upset if people were on my property without my authority. "
He said this was out of concern for health and safety.
" Agriculture can be dangerous. "
" If the farmers do not know the people on their property, they have no idea they are there and they may unintentionally expose those visitors to risks.
Former Land Information Minister Mark Mitchell stood by signing the lease of Mr. Lauer.
"It opened and gave the New Zealand public much better access than before."
The Walking Access Commission is now working an updated proposal for easement.