A ground-breaking agreement has been reached by the Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) to purchase almost 100 hectares of land around Mt Iron and Little Mt Iron in Wānaka to protect the future of the area.
Community Services General Manager Thunes Cloete says the council is buying the land from the Cleugh family and will act as kaitiaki and eventually hold the property as public reserve in perpetuity on behalf of the community.
“While there won’t be any immediate changes to public use council will be working closely with the local community on plans for Mt Iron’s long-term future. Existing walking tracks and prohibited areas will remain in place while we continue to work through the details of the purchase. It will be some months before the private land formally becomes reserve.”
“However, we do appreciate many people and local groups will be excited about potential new recreation and biodiversity opportunities for the site and we’ll be announcing details of how we’ll be engaging with the community to capture these ideas later in the year,” says Dr Cloete.
Separate to the agreement with the Cleugh family the council has commenced discussions with the Department of Conservation Te Papa Atawhai (DOC) with the prospect that it will take ownership of the remaining section of Mt Iron currently owned by DOC.