Minister Provides Grant For Hanmer Forest
The Minister of Tourism Mark Burton has provided a $30,000 grant to allow the restoration of tracks and walking areas in the heritage area of Hanmer Springs Forest.
The 204 hectare heritage forest, which was established almost 100 years ago, contains 60 species of trees and has been a popular recreation area with Hanmer Springs locals and visitors alike.
Since February last year the land has been owned by Ngai Tahu, while Carter Holt Harvey holds the cutting rights to the trees, subject to a strict covenant.
Mark Burton met this morning with the Mayor of Hurunui John Chaffey, Councillor Alice Stielow and Hanmer Forest Guardian Professor Roger Keey.
"The delegation expressed the concerns of the people of Hanmer Springs over the future public use and protection of their much loved forest," Mark Burton said.
"I was able to assure the delegation that I am working with Carter Holt Harvey, Ngai Tahu and other Ministers to identify possible long-term options.
"To address the access issue, I have provided $30,000 from the Tourism Facilities Grant Fund to restore the tracks and walking areas. Mayor Chaffey has agreed that the Council will lead the formation of a Trust, which will take responsibility for ongoing maintenance.
"There is a great deal of goodwill from all the parties involved in this issue," Mark Burton said. "The Minister of Conservation and her Department are ready to assist and advise the Trust, while Ngai Tahu and Carter Holt Harvey are supportive of continued public access.
"I will continue to work with other Ministers for a long term, cross-portfolio solution. I am delighted that we have, with the active cooperation of all parties, removed the immediate uncertainty," Mark Burton said.