New Zealand: Boundary fence's costs keep on growing

New Zealand’s most expensive farm boundary fence has already cost the owners $94 (£33) a metre to build and defend – and the cost is still going up.

The High Court case about the fence has set an important precedent that farmers should be able to build a fence without resource consent.

Frankton-based planner Carey Vivian says many of the findings taken from the High Court decision could be applied to other farming activities and to that extent the High Court decision is an important case law precedent.

Built three years ago on steep country between Coronet Peak and Skippers Canyon near Queenstown, the 3,500m fence separates Mt Dewar Station from its neighbour.

It followed an existing fence line, but much of this fence was damaged or simply did not exist.

The fence, built on a three metre-wide bulldozed bench, was finished in late summer 2006.

However, the Queenstown Lakes District Council, acting on a complaint from the New Zealand Historic PlacesTrust, alleged 1,900m of the fence breached three of its district plan rules around earthworks.

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