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No Good News In Conservation Budget

28 May 2004

No Good News In Conservation Budget

New Zealand First’s conservation spokesman Edwin Perry has expressed disappointment at the absence of funding for conservation in the Budget.

“The announcement in early May that Secretary Island and Resolution Island were to become sanctuaries gave some hope that conservation would be given a boost in this year’s Budget.

“However that did not happen and the good news regarding these sanctuaries shouldn’t hide the fact that the department is now going to have to juggle existing funds even more in order to achieve its conservation goals, said Mr Perry.

“Project Ark is a prime example of trying to make a good news story out of robbing Peter to pay Paul. We can expect to see more of this in future if there are no additional funds for conservation.

“The allocation of funds for the purchase of more of the South Island high country should also be cause for concern. $48 million for administration of the tenure review process and land purchase is a huge chunk of money, but once that has been spent the land will become the responsibility of the Department of Conservation and, ultimately, the taxpayer.

“The Government’s clean, green New Zealand promotion sounds great but as far as conservation is concerned the only good news so far relates to the island sanctuaries and that may not be enough for the threatened species in the rest of the country, said Mr Perry.

ENDS

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