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Greens say new park a cracker

11 October 2001

Greens say new park a cracker

Green Party Conservation spokesperson Jeanette Fitzsimons today congratulated Conservation Minister Sandra Lee on creating a unique park in Canterbury's Torlesse Range.

"This new park will give the public access to 22,000 hectares of strikingly beautiful high country," she said.

"The tussock grasslands and beech forests are a defining landscape for Canterbury and deserve to be preserved for future generations.

"They are home to rare communities of plants that grow on rock screes and types of snow tussock adapted to a harsh climate. It is an important area for science and for biodiversity," said Ms Fitzsimons.

"A striking gap in New Zealand's protected lands has always been the high country tussock lands which were not available for national parks or reserves because they were leased for grazing very early in our history.

"The tenure review process and Crown repurchase has now made a representative chain of such parks possible," she said.

Ms Fitzsimons recognised the hard work of Forest and Bird in making the park happen, with the support of conservation and recreational groups and Ngai Tahu.

"I'm delighted that a dream that Forest and Bird has worked toward for the last 10 years has now become a reality.

"Not only the Canterbury community, but visitors from all over New Zealand and overseas, will be able to make use of this conservation park and appreciate the majesty of this wild landscape."

ENDS


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