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Public access for piece of Nelson coast

Conservation Week: public access for piece of Nelson coast

Public access to a beautiful piece of north-west Nelson coastline has been guaranteed in a new purchase by the Nature Heritage Fund, Conservation Minister Chris Carter announced today.

"The Fund has purchased a 68 hectare block of coastal land at Kahurangi Point that was formerly in private ownership and grazed by livestock," Mr Carter said.

"The land is almost completely surrounded by the Kahurangi National Park and the sea. It contains impressive wind-sculpted dunes and beautiful coastal forest, home to the great spotted kiwi and the rare giant land snail."

Mr Carter said the property was of sufficient significance that it would be added to the Kahurangi National Park.

"It means that the Nature Heritage Fund has now protected and ensured public access to more than 190,000 hectares of natural areas since 1990. Coastline has been a particular focus in the past three years, with some 1236 hectares of coastal areas purchased at a cost of $7.9m, " he said.

"Not only do these conservation areas provide fantastic recreation opportunities for all New Zealanders but they are crucial habitats for our native species.

"The Kahurangi Point block is a very important site for the pingao, or golden sand sedge, which is now scarce elsewhere in the Nelson region. It also contains populations of rare native coastal plants, such as the sand buttercup and the coastal forget-me-not," Mr Carter said.

He said the block had cost $510,000 and the Fund had been alerted to the sale of the land by the Tasman Environmental Trust.

"I'm delighted we were able to buy this block because escalating prices for coastal property in the Nelson area are severely effecting what we can afford. The Fund has not been able to buy another parcel of land nearby for this reason," Mr Carter said.

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