DoC met this individual several times and accompanied him along the route with a satellite navigation system to ensure the car park didn't encroach on his property. Aubrey was provided with $6000 of signs and fencing by DoC to warn the public off his property. DoC spent a total of $11,150 in 2009 building a public car park and erecting signs outlining the 12 kilometre route to the conservation park.

The Commissioner of Crown Lands, David Gullen says it appeared Aubrey had acted illegally under the Land Act. "I think we are past the point where DoC communication with the leaseholder will resolve matters", he said in January and considered issuing him with a trespass notice.

Aubrey claims he had files which he has reviewed which go back many, many years which will reconfirm the boundaries of the pastoral lease. Wonder why he was happy with the boundaries when he accompanied DoC on his route prior to their spending all that money - a bit fishy?

In the meantime, DoC is pursuing a memorandum of understanding with LINZ to resolve access issues to the park. How will things pan out with the National government and the Minister of Conservation being a farmer's daughter? My money's on DoC losing this fight as these days everything goes the farmers' way and the vice president of Federated Farmers knows this.

A gander at the cadastral map circa 2008 shows a small triangle of crown land extending into the stream bed band just on the Christchurch side of the Forest Creek bridge. This would be the car park DoC has developed on our behalf which has been vandalized by Aubrey. DoC were informed on Boxing Day that gravel from this car park had been removed and dumped elsewhere and signs had been erected saying 'Ben McLeod Station private property"

Aubrey claims that there had been "quite severe" stock disturbance on his property by hunters which led him in 2009 to spend $20,000 buying wool to supplement his Icebreaker supply contract because his wool did not make the grade. Yeah right. A few skanky merino sheep got more upset by hunters compared with being harassed by sheep dogs, quad bikes etc. and being shorn, dipped, drenched, separated from offspring or parent and whatever else these people do to their stock throughout the year.

In the meantime, you can park on the other side of the road and wander along the 12 km of legal river bed and crown land to view Butler's V Hut site and beyond.