Posted By QEII National Trust | November 26, 2021

A highly visible piece of Kawarau Falls Station is now protected from development, following a decision by the owners, the Mee family, to place a QEII covenant on 170 hectares of the property.

The covenanted land is located across the Kawarau River from Queenstown Airport, north of the Remarkables Ski Area access road.

This follows an announcement last year that 900 ha of the neighbouring property, Remarkables Station, has been covenanted and will be gifted to QEII. While the Mee property will remain in family ownership, the landscape will be protected from development in the same way that Remarkables Station is.

Kawarau Falls Station director Mike Mee said the decision to covenant the areas was “the right thing to do” and he hoped it would inspire others in the region to consider legal protection as they look to the future.

“We wanted to ensure that the property, highly visible from many Queenstown locations, is protected in perpetuity and will remain as open space for future generations,” said Mike.

QEII Chair Bruce Wills acknowledged the Mees’ efforts to protect the spectacular landscape values that are so important to Queenstown and the surrounding area.

“Mike and his family are part of a wide group of committed landowners that QEII works alongside to place open space covenants on their land to protect significant ecological, cultural or landscape values,” said Bruce.

“We were pleased to be able to partner with them to secure their vision for the property.

“Combined with the Remarkables Station, the preservation of open space in an area under increasing pressure from development is something the Mees feel very passionately about. This covenant will ensure the spectacular backdrop and views are protected for the people of Queenstown and visitors to enjoy in the future.”

Rob Wardle, QEII regional representative for Central Otago was supportive of the Mees plans.

“When Mike approached me with the idea I was astounded at the generosity of the gesture and acutely aware of its significance for the long-term and future settlement in the Wakatipu Basin,” said Rob.