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New fund announced for Sherpa study

Media Statement

New fund announced for Sherpa study

The Department of Conservation and Te Rûnanga o Ngâi Tahu have announced a new fund to help Nepalese Sherpas wanting to study conservation management in New Zealand.

The fund has been established as a tribute to Sir Edmund Hillary and will be called The Hillary Conservation Study Assistance Fund. It was announced today at the opening of the Mueller Hut at Aoraki/Mt Cook.

The Department of Conservation (DOC) has made a long-term commitment of $3000 annually to the fund. Ngâi Tahu will contribute another $3000 to the fund in the first year and will review its contribution annually.

This year $6000 will be available as a grant to Sherpas studying environmental and national park management in New Zealand. The Sherpa Advisory Board, which is part of Sir Edmund Hillary’s Himalayan Trust, will manage the fund and select the recipient.

Sir Edmund Hillary was pleased with the initiative. “There are already quite a number of Sherpas who have been trained through Lincoln University’s Degree in Parks and Recreation. They have been very successful, so the idea of inviting more to New Zealand for training is a good one,” he said.

Conservation Minister Chris Carter said the fund would help carry on the work started by Sir Edmund.

"The fund recognises the special relationship Sir Edmund has developed between the Nepalese and all New Zealanders through his mountaineering and humanitarian work.

“It will also benefit conservation in a global sense. Sherpas who have studied in New Zealand have gone on to become instrumental figures in biodiversity protection in Central Asia.”

Department of Conservation director general Hugh Logan said the joint initiative with Te Rûnanga o Ngâi Tahu further cemented the Treaty relationship between the two organisations.

“We are delighted to be able to work together on this with Ngâi Tahu who have such a close association with the mountains and who share similar values in respect of our conservation work.”

Mark Solomon, Kaiwhakahaere of Te Rûnanga o Ngâi Tahu, said their support for the fund was strong.

“At Ngâi Tahu we have a whakatauki or saying – Mô tâtou, â, mô kâ uri â muri ake nei – For us and our children after us. This fund reflects that theme of conservation for future generations. We are also delighted that we can work closely with the indigenous people of another nation who are renowned for their close affinity with, and respect for, their mountains.”


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