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Greens welcome new DOC tracks

21 October 2004

Greens welcome new DOC tracks

The Green Party has endorsed plans to construct a 625 km of new tracks through the conservation estate.

Conservation Minister Chris Carter today announced the Department of Conservation's 10-year plan to refurbish its recreational facilities following a consultation process and the allocation of budget funds.

"Any new walkway is a bonus," said Mike Ward, the Greens' Spokesperson on Tourism, and Sport, Fitness and Leisure.

"But I hope this initiative will give some priority to providing alternatives to existing high-usage tracks. With adventure tourism and independent visitor numbers increasing, measures to take the heat off walkways such as the Able Tasman are surely an urgent priority.

"Communities' concerns and interests are not frozen in time, so while I recognise that the public were asked which tracks and huts should be built and which should be closed, the consultation process should continue over the entire decade that the money is being spent.

"And while there are obvious safety issues involved, we also need to recognise the value of keeping open routes into little-known but significant parts of our wilderness," said Mr Ward.


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