Pāmu Farms of New Zealand has guaranteed the protection of 1456 hectares of land at its Mt Hamilton Station, near Te Anau, with the establishment of a QEII National Trust Covenant.

Pāmu CEO Steve Carden says the covenant will protect the wetlands and Red Tussock land and the regenerating Silver Beech forest for future generations.

“We decided to put the large area into covenant following a review of development potential of the farm and the recognition of the biodiversity value of the area.

“This means the area will be protected, in perpetuity, and is not impacted by the sale of the farm, which is likely to be remarketed in the coming summer.

“We are also pleased to be able to name the Covenant after Phil McKenzie, an employee of Pāmu for 37 years. Phil was passionate about the environment, and was until recently the General Manager responsible for the Pāmu environment team.

“Today’s official establishment of the McKenzie Covenant marks the culmination of a lot of hard work and planning between the QEII National Trust and Pāmu and it is exciting to see the McKenzie Covenant become a reality, and ensure this home to over 140 native plant species and 15 bird species – many classified as endangered – will be protected forever.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the QEII National Trust to preserve and enhance biodiversity across our properties as the opportunity arises,” Mr Carden said.

Pāmu Farms of New Zealand has 105 existing registered covenants across 15 Southland farms totalling 3,734ha, including the McKenzie covenant.

Fencing is underway on two more small covenants – amounting to 11ha, while approval has been obtained for a further 5 covenants totalling 208ha – all to be completed by mid-2018.

Pāmu is currently responsible for protecting the largest amount of land under covenant with the QEII Trust.