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Return Cook Strait jewel to the crown, says Ward

12 February, 2004

Return Cook Strait jewel to the crown, says Ward

Green MP Mike Ward has urged Conservation Minister Chris Carter to snap up an idyllic island in Cook Strait that is on the market, saying the island would be a unique addition to the conservation estate.

Mr Ward, the Green Tourism spokesperson, has written to the Minister urging him to consider purchasing Puangiangi Island, north east of D'Urville Island, because of the unique conservation and tourism opportunities it could bring.

"More than ever, New Zealanders have to keep our land in our hands," said Mr Ward. "This is a great chance to show this country's commitment to the conservation estate while protecting the land from absentee foreign ownership.

"Because the island was largely clear-felled to raise stock, we have a chance to regenerate the island with native flora and fauna. With the island being so close to both Nelson and Wellington we could involve schools and the community to help restore it to a more natural state.

"I believe this would add a unique perspective to our rapidly-expanding eco-tourism industry and many people from all over the world would be interested in participating in such a project.

"Given the consideration this island deserves, I am sure that the Minister would find many wonderful opportunities to use Puangiangi Island should it be added to the conservation estate," said Mr Ward.

ENDS

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