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Save the baches, lose the Minister

Shane Ardern MP
National Conservation Spokesman

10 March 2004

Save the baches, lose the Minister

National's Conservation spokesman Shane Ardern is appalled at plans by the Department of Conservation to remove all private baches and cribs from DOC land.

"Not content with buying up most of the South Island farmland, the Minister of Conservation now wants all baches, cribs, fishing huts and homes removed from large parts of the New Zealand landscape. Where will it stop?

"People enjoy the land and for the most part have been very good caretakers. Yet with a single stroke this Labour Government has decided to take away something which is a unique part of being a New Zealander.

"Whatever happened to commonsense and making decisions on a case-by-case basis?

"The lack of consultation with the public is arrogant and we can only hope that this is a policy on which the Government will again do a U-turn.

"The sad fact is that DOC's record of land care is not good; they are understaffed and lack the funds to properly manage the land already under their care. Conservation land will not be better off under the management of Chris Carter!

"If the Minister continues to have his way, we will find New Zealanders huddled into small patches of land with the vast majority of land turned into one big conservation park.

"We need commonsense policies, where land is cared for under private and government ownership. Private stewardship is not always bad and the Minister needs to rethink this appalling, socialist policy," said Mr Ardern.


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