The scuttling of High Country amenity values

August 1, 2009

Alf congratulates the High Country farmer who has won a significant test case against the Crown.

He agrees with the litigious farmer – or rather, he firmly hopes – the victory will open the door for a change in legislation.

The case has made a nonsense of the idea a property has an “amenity value”, based on some notion about its scenic value. It’s a notion that would put a huge price on the interior of the Eketahuna Club, if Alf was doing the valuing, because he finds it hugely attractive.

But back to the High Country and Radio NZ’s news that –

Jonathan Wallis of Minaret Station opposed increases to rent for High Country leases after a Government review included amenity values in calculating the rents.
Amenity values take into consideration the value derived from the location or view the property has.

Many High Country farmers believe amenity values are irrelevant and unfairly inflate the cost of leasing the land.

Mr Wallis won his case at the Land Valuation Tribunal in Dunedin and says the victory paves the way for the Government to change its policy.

That should scuttle amenity values. Alf harbours a dark suspicion it might not.