Unfortunate news today that Shania Twain and her husband-producer Robert “Mutt” Lange are splitting up after 14-years of marriage. The couple’s decision comes after they recently opened a brand-new public hiking trail on their incredible property of more than 61,000 acres on New Zealand’s South Island.
Twain’s purchase of the 33-year lease for the land ($17.5m) sparked debate over fears that wealthy foreigners were snapping up and sealing off the country’s prime real estate. As a show of good faith, the couple agreed to create a hiking track, with huts and other facilities, crossing their land as part of a nationwide trail. Mountain bikers, climbers and hunters also have continued access to the property.
This past March, Shania joined Prime Minister Helen Clark at the opening to the new trail — the first back country section of a nationwide public walkway to open on South Island. When asked whether she had taken the three-day journey across her property (three days!), Twain responded that she hadn’t, but planned to.
We’re hopeful Shania’s unfortunate personal issues don’t translate to trouble for this incredible piece of New Zealand scenery. Even if it is eventually sold off, the New Zealand government will no doubt ensure the next owners are as environmentally-conscious as the current.