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Maori leader new head of biodiversity trust board

31 July 2000 Media Statement
Maori leader new head of trust board charged with protecting biodiversity on private land

The Right Reverend Sir Paul Reeves has been appointed the new Chairperson of the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust Board which supports the protection of our unique animal and plant species—our biodiversity—on private land.

Conservation Minister Sandra Lee has marked the first day of Conservation Week 2000 today with the announcement of Sir Paul's appointment as Chaiperson, which takes effect from tomorrow (Tuesday 1 August) for three years. Sir Paul is already on the Trust Board having served one term as a member.

"I am delighted that Sir Paul has accepted this key position at a time when the Government has underlined its commitment to protecting biodiversity on private land with the allocation of an extra $37m over the next five years," said Ms Lee.

"Although he is best known for being a former Governor-General and former Anglican Archbishop of New Zealand, Sir Paul is a keen conservationist who is widely respected, particularly by Maori and the rural community," she said. "I'm sure he will make an outstanding contribution as Chairperson of the Trust."

The Queen Elizabeth II National Trust's principal role is to protect conservation and landscape resources on private land by negotiating open space covenants with private landowners. The additional $37m is part of a total $187m extra funding allocated in the 2000-2001 Budget to implement the New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy. Part of the funding will allow the QE II National Trust to respond to more offers to covenant high priority areas on private land. It will also restore to previous levels the funding of two other schemes—the Nature Heritage Fund and Nga Whenua Rahui—replacing funds used for the purchase of cutting rights at Waitutu and Lord's River in Southland.

The Conservation Minister also announced today that Commander Dick Ryan of Kerikeri had been appointed to the Trust Board, also for a three-year term. The remaining members are Patricia Seymour, Geoff Walls and Bill Garland.

Ms Lee also paid tribute to the former Chairperson, Maggie Bayfield—who stood down after holding the position for nine years—and retiring Trust Board member Dr Peter Espie. "Both provided valuable contributions to the Trust, and they have helped to ensure its continued success," she said.

ENDS

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