QEII National Trust are in the Supreme Court today defending the intentions of the original landowner to protect 400 ha of Coromandel forest land forever against someone who wishes to overturn covenant protection to develop a property for commercial purposes.
QEII National Trust CEO Mike Jebson says “covenants are protected for the benefit of current and future generations because of the vision of the original owner who loved the land and wanted to protect it. Individually and collectively covenants represent a huge legacy to the country.”
“It is our job to protect covenanted land and we are vigorously defending the intentions of the original land owner against those who try to break that protection.”
Green Growth No 2 Limited, the current owner, is challenging the validity of covenant registered on a property in the Coromandel in 1997. Both the High Court and Court of Appeal agreed that the covenant is valid.
Jebson says “our open space covenants protect and maintain open space forever. They stay over the land when there is a change of ownership. Covenants are intended to maintain and enhance natural spaces and to prevent activities such as housing development or forest clearance that are unsympathetic to the sites natural values.”
“In seeking to overturn this covenant, Green Growth is putting short term economic gain above the long-term vision of the original landowner who wanted to protect the land for future generations.”
“We will fight cases like this despite the opportunity cost of the time, money and other scarce QEII National Trust resources being diverted from the important work we are doing to help land owners protect open space around the country.”