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Conservation Budget Justifies Green's Govt Support

Conservation Budget Justifies Green Support For Govt

Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said she was very pleased with today's conservation announcement, saying the funding boost justified Green Party support for the government.

Ms Fitzsimons said today's announcement went some way towards implementing the Green Party's own conservation policy and that the Greens were proud to be associated with it.

"While this package does not mean our conservation problems are solved, this announcement is a first crucial step in turning around our declining natural heritage," she said.

Ms Fitzsimons said that after much work on behalf of the Coromandel and Haast kiwi she was absolutely delighted to see that the plight of these kiwi had been recognised and extra funding allocated for kiwi recovery measures.

"I also recognise and acknowledge the huge role Forest and Bird have played in raising awareness of the plight of the kiwi," she said.

"The Green Party would also like to acknowledge Conservation Minister Sandra Lee's unique achievements in her Maori conservation initiatives," she said.

"Extra money is particularly welcome for the funds that help to protect natural areas on private lands after they were raided under the last Government for purchases that should have been dealt with as Treaty settlements. A new fund for pest control in these areas is important recognition that they need active management, not just legal protection."

Ms Fitzsimons said the Greens were pleased that the funding appeared to have been well thought out and that the announcement was for a five year package, as the problems could not be solved in just one term.

"The steady five year increase in DOC funding will give the department the certainty to begin building the capacity and the staff to undertake the work required," she said.

"There is a very strong Green influence in today's announcements, after years and years of environmental neglect," said Ms Fitzsimons.

The Green Party has negotiated a package of additional budget initiatives which will be released next week.

Ends

Jeanette Fitzsimons MP: 07 868 6641 (hm), 025 586 068 Jonathan Hill (press secretary): 04 470 6719, 021 110 1133

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