News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Forest Protection Funds Gutted for Stewart Island

29 October, 1999


Forest Protection Funds Gutted for Stewart Island Deal

Contact: Kevin Smith (04) 385-7374 work or (04) 934-2473 home _______________________________________________________________________

Critical opportunities for nature protection on private land could be lost over the next three years because of the Government's recent expensive forest protection deal for Stewart Island Maori land, according to conservationists.

The Forest and Bird Protection Society's Conservation Director, Kevin Smith, said that the protection of the 3,300 hectare Lords River block on Stewart Island had been funded, in large part, by the Minister of Conservation reducing funding for the Nature Heritage Fund and the Nga Whenua Rahui Fund over the next three years.

"My understanding is that both these funds have been slashed by about 50%. The $10.9 million Stewart Island deal has been bankrolled mainly by the Minister of Conservation taking $6.8 million from the two funds' next three years' allocation.

"Both the Nature Heritage Fund and Nga Whenua Rahui were already heavily over-subscribed. This funding cut has gutted them, meaning that many important protection opportunities for rare habitats and threatened species on private land will now fall by the wayside. Many private landowners will be disappointed. Tensions over Resource Management Act restrictions on natural areas will increase now that funding for voluntary conservation initiatives has been slashed."

Forest and Bird welcomed the protection of the Stewart Island Maori land but believed it should not be at the expense of higher nature conservation priorities elsewhere around the country.

Mr Smith said he was disappointed that the Minister of Conservation had used the protection funds without seeking the agreement of the funds' two advisory boards.

"These boards have performed an outstanding service to conservation over the last ten years by ensuring the funds are wisely spent to achieve the greatest conservation benefit. The Minister should be seeking their advice on conservation priorities and acting on it, rather than ignoring them as he has done here."

Forest and Bird is calling on all political parties to restore and increase funding for the Nature Heritage Fund and Nga Whenua Rahui.

"Critically depleted habitats such as coastal dunes, wetlands, natural grasslands and lowland forests containing threatened species are at great risk. Unless landowners can receive assistance in the protection of the most valuable areas, many will be lost. This is a pity and a sad outcome of the otherwise laudable protection of the Stewart Island forests," said Mr Smith.

....... ends

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Scoop Review Of Books: Salt River Songs by Sam Hunt

Colin Hogg, a longtime comrade of Sam, writes in his Introduction that, ‘There is a lot of death in this collection of new poems by my friend Sam Hunt. It’s easier to count the poems here that don’t deal with the great destroyer than it is to point to the ones that do.’ More>>

Electronica: Restoring The World’s First Recorded Computer Music

University of Canterbury Distinguished Professor Jack Copeland and UC alumni and composer Jason Long have restored the earliest known recording of computer-generated music, created more than 65 years ago using programming techniques devised by Alan Turing. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Almost Getting Away With Murder

The Black Widow by Lee-Anne Cartier: Lee-Anne Cartier is the sister of the Christchurch man found to have been murdered by his wife, Helen Milner, after an initial assumption by police that his death, in 2009, was suicide. More>>

Howard Davis: Triple Echo - The Malevich/Reinhardt/Hotere Nexus

Howard Davis: The current juxtaposition of works by Ralph Hotere and Ad Reinhardt at Te Papa perfectly exemplifies Jean Michel Massing's preoccupation with the transmigration of imagery in a remarkable triple echo effect... More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Nō Tāu Manawa

Vaughan Rapatahana responds to Fale Aitu | Spirit House by Tusiata Avi: "fa’afetai Tusiata, fa’afetai, / you’ve swerved & served us a masterclass corpus / through graft / of tears & fears..." More>>

9 Golds - 21 Medals: NZ Team Celebrates As Rio 2016 Paralympic Games Close

The entire New Zealand Paralympic Team, led by kiwi sprinter and double gold medallist Liam Malone as flag bearer, are on the bus to the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro for the Closing Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. There, they will celebrate the fantastic successes of the past 10 days. More>>


New Zealand Improv Festival: The Festival Of Moments To Return To The Capital

The eighth incarnation of the New Zealand Improv Festival comes to BATS Theatre this 4-8 October , with a stellar line-up of spontaneous theatre and instant comedy performed and directed by top improvisors from around New Zealand and the world. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news