QEII National Trust is pleased to see the Tax Working Group’s findings acknowledged the scope for the tax system to support, sustain and enhance land protected by QEII covenants.

QEII National Trust CEO, Mike Jebson says “our covenantors know the value of investing in protected private land and we are pleased to see the Tax Working Group include suggestions that costs incurred in looking after land protected by QEII covenant should be treated as deductible expenses for tax purposes in their interim conclusions.”

Mike Jebson says “we’re also pleased to see suggestions that any potential capital gain tax, land tax or wealth tax should exclude both public and private conservation land. Excluding protected land from these kinds of taxes recognises that the real value of protected private land lies in the biodiversity and open space protection, and not just in the profit to be realised upon sale of the land.”

“Our members will also appreciate seeing the call for greater assistance for conservation efforts like weed, and pest control. Our members are doing great work within and around their protected land and anything to encourage that work will be appreciated. Research by the University of Waikato Institute for Business found that on average the owners of QEII covenants (almost 4,500 of them around the country), spent approximately $64,000 to establish their covenant and are spending on average around $6,000 annually on covenant maintenance and enhancement.”

QEII CEO, Mike Jebson says “we are pleased to see support from organisations like Federated Farmers and ECO NZ on both issues. This support for the value of privately protected land is especially welcome at a time when our Auckland members are losing their rebate on rates for protected land.”

“We are hopeful that any changes in the New Zealand taxation system reflect the fact that private land conservation is a financial commitment from landowners who choose to covenant, and requires ongoing costs, thus tax deductions should be necessary. We will be seeking further input on the Tax Working Group to support the final report.”