The Queenstown Lakes District Council is negotiating with the Department of Conservation to acquire 52ha of Doc’s Mt Iron reserve and add it to the council’s proposed 100ha reserve.

The deal with Doc may take two years to settle.

The council’s earlier deal with the Cleugh family to buy 100ha is scheduled for an earlier settlement, in May next year.

The council’s acting community services manager Meaghan Miller said if successful, the council would become the new kaitiaki (guardian) of Mt Iron and Little Mt Iron reserves, including public car parks .

‘‘Mt Iron is an iconic landmark and a place that is very dear to residents of and visitors to the Upper Clutha, with over 150,000 people estimated to head up its summit each year.

‘‘[The] council is grateful to Doc raising this opportunity which could see the benefit and practicality of one joined parcel of land.’’

‘‘This landmark is a highly valued recreational space of ecological importance to the district, and a postcard-worthy landscape.

‘‘By administering all public land on Mt Iron and Little Mt Iron, [the] council will be able to take over the protection and enhancement of this much-loved public space,’’ Ms Miller said.

Doc acting operations manager for Central Otago Anita Middlemiss said the council had not requested to take over management of any other Docadministered reserves in Wanaka.

‘‘Doc recognises the value residents and visitors place on use of the site for recreation, commuting, climbing, and grey shrubland biodiversity values.

‘‘There is a statutory process involved before reserves can be vested by councils. Costs are limited to the associated Doc processing fees,’’ she said.
Mt Iron’s Maori name is Tewai atakaia, according to an 1898 map drawn up by Rawiri Te Mairie and held at the national archives in Wellington.

Ms Middlemiss said Doc used names as identified by the New Zealand Geographic Board.

Neither Ngai Tahu nor the board had provided Doc with an alternative name, she said.