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Canterbury conservationist wins Loder Cup

Canterbury conservationist wins Loder Cup

Lifetime champion of New Zealand’s native plants, Dr Gerry McSweeney, has been awarded the prestigious Loder Cup award for 2003, Conservation Minister Chris Carter announced today.

“Dr McSweeney has made a significant contribution to the preservation and appreciation of our native flora”, said Mr Carter.

"He has been involved in the creation of the Department of Conservation, and the South West New Zealand World Heritage Area. He has been a leading figure in forest and wetland conservation, and was instrumental in the signing of the Tasman Forest Accord.

Mr Carter said Dr McSweeney was on the Government's expert panel on the future management of 130,000 hectares of Timberlands West Coast native forests. The panel authoratively identified the outstanding conservation values of the forests, and that contributed to their protection.

"His advocacy for tussock grasslands played a key part in the government's establishment of the Korowai/Torlesse Tussocklands Park," Mr Carter said.

"Since 1990 Dr McSweeney has been a key member of the Nature Heritage Fund, which has protected 180,000 hectares of conservation land.

“Dr McSweeney’s energy and passion for the indigenous flora of New Zealand extends to his private business where he has set an important example to the industry that conservation and sensitive tourism can be compatible," Mr Carter said.

“It is a great pleasure to be able to give recognition to members of the community like Dr McSweeney who make such huge contributions to conservation."

The Loder Cup is one of New Zealand’s oldest conservation awards. It is awarded annually for outstanding contributions to the conservation of New Zealand’s native plant life.

Last year’s winner was Miss Marge Maddren of Whangarei.

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