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Six new World Heritage sites proposed in NZ

Six new World Heritage sites proposed in NZ

Napier's art deco historic precinct and Farewell Spit are on a list of six new places around New Zealand suggested as possible new World Heritage sites, Conservation Minister Chris Carter announced today.

"New Zealand is currently considering which of our remarkable natural, historic and cultural areas should be put forward to the international World Heritage Committee for consideration as new World Heritage sites," Mr Carter said.

"The problem is that we are spoilt for choice. A committee of officials led by the Department of Conservation has identified six locations for discussion but we would value the public's assistance in determining which of those we focus our efforts on," he said.

The list (in no particular order) includes:

The Kermadec Islands and marine reserve in the Southern Ocean; Kahurangi National Park and Farewell Spit, near Nelson; Napier's art deco historic precinct; Papamoa Pa complex near Tauranga; Oamaru's post office and the limestone buildings in the town's central business district; Waitangi's Treaty grounds.

"The case for each of these areas is laid out in a new document published today, titled Our World Heritage discussion document: Towards A New Zealand Tentative List," Mr Carter said.

"I would like to invite any New Zealander interested in our culture and heritage to make a submission on this list before 31 March. Furthermore, if people wish to suggest other possible sites of their own that meet the international criteria for World Heritage status, they are welcome to do so."

World Heritage status secures a commitment from the government and the international community to a site's long-term protection. New Zealand currently has three World Heritage sites: Te Wahipounamu (Mt Cook/Aoraki, Westland/Te Tai Poutini and Fiordland National Parks and other conservation areas in Southwest New Zealand); Tongariro National Park; New Zealand’s subantarctic islands (Bounty, Snares, Antipodes, Campbell and Auckland Islands).

The World Heritage Committee makes the final decision on which places achieve World Heritage status.

Further details: DOC web site, http://www.doc.govt.nz/World-Heritage/index.asp, and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre web site, http://whc.unesco.org/

Submissions and queries to: Nicola Scott, International Relations, Department of Conservation, PO Box 10-420, Wellington, nscott@doc.govt.nz, fax: 04 4711 082

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