Surveying the High Country - Black Hill Station
This survey enabled the completion of a successful high country tenure review so the farmer could take full ownership of the most productive farmland.
Black Hill Station wanted to diversify their farming operations and more intensively use the farmland. As there was a crown pastoral lease over the property, the farmer had to undertake a tenure review.
Tenure reviews give pastoral lessees the opportunity to buy some of their leasehold land. The remaining land is retired from the lease and returned to Crown control, usually for conservation purposes.
Nestled against the Southern Alps and 25 km inland from the Rakaia Gorge, the farm is an expanse of tussock covered terrain, alpine streams and mountainous ranges. This meant we had to work up to 1,500 metres above sea level and deal with very steep country and highly-changeable weather.
Services included high country tenure review surveys, advice on titles and boundaries as well as use of a range of digital technologies.
A survey was needed to create a freehold title for the land that the farmer would take full ownership of as well as define the conservation areas that would be retired from the lease. Being a working farm around 7000 hectares in size, the survey was a huge logistical planning task.
The survey team needed four wheel drive vehicles and a helicopter to get around the site. Steep and rugged areas that couldn’t be reached by vehicle had to be accessed by foot.
Other work included surveying the many streams criss-crossing the property as well as digitising banks from aerial photography to get accurate measurements of land that had been eroded by the Rakaia River.
The survey saw Black Hill Station go from a lease of about 7,000 hectares to a freehold title of about 1500 hectares, with the balance going back to Crown control.