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Hakatere Park extensions welcomed

30 April 2008 – Wellington

Forest & Bird media release for immediate use


Hakatere Park extensions welcomed

Forest & Bird has welcomed the additions to Hakatere Conservation Park in Canterbury announced today.

New conservation land protects a spectacular diversity of river and glacier-carved landscapes in the Upper Rangitata and Rakaia braided river valleys.  Extensive areas of tussock grasslands, wetlands, river beds, forest remnants and rare shrublands will all be added to the park.

Forest & Bird high country spokesperson Sue Maturin says tenure reviews* of the Mt Potts and Redcliffe high country properties are a great improvement on many previous tenure reviews, and show an increased commitment to making real gains for conservation and public access.

“They will be a real boon for recreation, but care will be needed to control four-wheel-drive access.  Enthusiastic but irresponsible off-road drivers are already damaging new conservation lands in the Hakatere Park.”

Forest & Bird was also disappointed by failure to protect some key areas in the region.  The world famous site that was a central feature of the Lord of the Rings films, and some of the area’s wetlands have been placed in freehold ownership without adequate protection under covenants.

Wetlands are a national priority for protection and the Mount Sunday wetlands should have been added to the conservation park in their entirety, Sue Maturin says.

* Tenure review is a process in which parts of former high country pastoral leases are protected as part of the conservation estate, while other parts pass into freehold ownership by the former leaseholder.



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