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Government Removes Threat To Historic Places Trust

Prime Minister and Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Helen Clark today announced that the government has cancelled the move by the previous government to make the Historic Places Trust's funding contestable.

Helen Clark said today's decision would help to restore the financial viability of the Historic Places Trust and was an indication of the priority that the new government placed on the protection of New Zealand's historic sites and places.

"The decision to make the heritage services funding contestable was short-sighted and owed more to ideology than to logic.

"Firstly, there are no other national heritage organisations in place to compete for services. Imposing contestable funding would have been particularly expensive, and would simply add another layer of bureaucracy to oversee the regime.

"Secondly, after nine years of neglect, the Historic Places Trust is in a precarious financial position. The decision of the previous government to make its funding contestable from 1 July 2000 would only have exacerbated its strained state.

"Today's decision is a victory for common sense. It will be welcomed by those charged with protecting New Zealand's historic places. It provides the Historic Places Trust with certainty of funding and indicates that the new government values the Trust's important contribution to protecting the nation's treasures," Helen Clark said.

ENDS

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