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Karori Sanctuary 'Conservation in Action' Award


6th August 2008

Karori Sanctuary Wins 'Conservation in Action' Tourism Award

Wellington's Karori Sanctuary has won the Department of Conservation's "Conservation in Action" Award at the annual Tourism Industry Awards in Christchurch.

"I am really delighted that Karori Sanctuary has won this valued award because they are a mainland island in the heart of a major metropolitan area and they have a wonderful vision, which is to be 'a world class conservation site portraying our natural heritage to capture people's imagination, understanding and commitments' said DOC's Director General Al Morrison.

"Conservation is vital to their success as a tourist attraction and they personify the reason why we, in DOC, supported these awards, which is to celebrate the economic value of the green dollar. The Karori Sanctuary recognises that conservation is more than just preserving and protecting our wildlife in isolation, but is as much about getting people out to experience and understand the issues threatening our unique wildlife.

"In their 12 years of operation so far, they have made great progress, and they are overcoming some really tough issues and challenges such as predator proof fencing an 8.6 km area much of it on a hillside. The gardeners of downtown Wellington are revelling in the reappearance of native birds from the Sanctuary," Mr Morrison said.

"Karori Sanctuary has also been a real inspiration to a whole host of other nature sanctuaries throughout the country and they aren't finished yet.

"The next stage of their development is expanding their educational opportunities to achieve long term financial sustainability, with a $16 million development including a visitor and education centre with enhanced facilities, which is due to open in late 2009," said Al Morrison

The Conservation in Action award was first presented by DOC in 2006 to acknowledge the achievement of tourism ventures that embrace conservation as an integral part of their business operations. The winner was Dive Tutukaka and last year it was Real Journeys.

The other finalists this year were the Otago based 4WD company Nomad Safaris; the nature tourism experience, and kiwi breeding company Rainbow Springs and Kiwi Encounter based in Rotorua; and Fiordland based company, Real Journeys and Steward Island Experience.

"Could I also acknowledge the tough competition provided by these other finalists. They all are making a meaningful contribution to conservation as part of their normal business and they typify the way businesses are becoming greener" Al Morrison concluded.


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