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DOC's Land Buying Spree Continues

Media Release
27 January 2004

DOC's Land Buying Spree Continues

“The question has to be asked about how much high country land DoC wants under its control and how much the taxpayer will have to continue to contribute,” said New Zealand First’s conservation spokesperson Edwin Perry.

“Five weeks after taking over management of the 180,000 hectare Molesworth Station the Conservation Minister has announced the purchase of Birchwood Station in Otago, adding another 23,783 hectares to DoC’s empire.

“The Minister’s vision of Birchwood forming the centrepiece of a vast new conservation park is all very well but raises yet again the questions of how much land will be enough to satisfy that particular ambition and where the money will come from for administration purposes,” said Mr Perry.

“Facilities for the people who will be taking advantage of the climbing, fishing, walking and hunting opportunities in the area will not be cheap to build or maintain. As funds to ensure the future of our wildlife are already in short supply it is safe to assume that the added financial burden of the purchase of yet another huge tract of land is not going to improve the situation. The Government’s priorities are muddled.

“Turning the South Island high country into a network of parks and reserves is all very well but once farming operations have been removed the land will be totally reliant on Government funds for its upkeep and maintenance and that will be an expensive undertaking for the taxpayer and a fatal expense for some of our wildlife,” said Mr Perry.


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