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Mackenzie Country Trust launched at Tekapo

The Mackenzie Country Trust was launched in Tekapo this morning with a presentation from three of the trustees at the Blue Greens Forum. The Trust Deed was signed and Trust established by the Associate Minister of Conservation Hon. Nicky Wagner as the Settlor with the handover of a one dollar gold coin last night.

The establishment of this Trust had its beginnings in November 2010 with the Mackenzie Country Symposium in Twizel. A collaborative process with the 26 interested parties, supported by then Minister of Environment Hon. Nick Smith, followed this symposium which ran over a sixteen month period. This Deed implements the outcome of that collaborative process, the Mackenzie Agreement which was signed by 22 parties in 2013.

Following a meeting of most of the signatories last October the Mackenzie Agreement Working Group has been working towards the Trust establishment and selection of trustees. This work has been supported by the Department of Conservation and the Auckland law firm Bell Gully who prepared the Deed on a pro bono basis.

The seven trustees are the Chairman, Mike Neilson, Director/Manager, Claire Barlow, Mayor Mackenzie District Council, Marie Brown, Policy Analyst, Julia Mackenzie, Farmer, Paddy Boyd, Farmer, David Stone Lawyer, and Peter Wilson, Planner.

The trustees who are mostly locals bring a range of skills and experience to this newly formed Trust and are committed to making it successful.

Trust Chairman, Mike Neilson said that “This has been a long and arduous journey for all involved, but now the seven trustees can start the ball rolling and achieve some long lasting protection for the outstanding Mackenzie landscapes and natural values alongside a sustainable local community. The work on that challenge begins next week”.

“We are all looking forward to working together and in collaboration with the local farming community and getting “some runs on the board” in the near future which will see the purpose of this Trust become a reality.”

For more information:
Mike Neilson, Chairman, Mackenzie Agreement Working Group: 021 369 237, 03 438 9885
Rob Young, Trust Adviser: 027 223 4546, 03 4350 564

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