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$5.6m to help with Stewart Island infrastructure

Hon Chris Carter
Minister of Conservation

12 July 2005
Media Statement

$5.6m to help with Stewart Island infrastructure

Conservation Minister Chris Carter has announced a $5.6m funding package to assist with the upgrading of infrastructure on Stewart Island following the establishment of Rakiura National Park in 2002.

"I am delighted to provide this assistance to the Stewart Island and Southland communities," Mr Carter said.

"My former colleague, Sandra Lee, made an undertaking that the government would assist the Stewart Island community with infrastructure costs created by visitors coming to enjoy the national park. The Labour-Progressive government has fulfilled Sandra's undertaking."

The new funding breaks down into two parts. A total of $2.5m will be available through the Department of Conservation to the Southland District Council for use on key infrastructure projects related to tourism and the national park. A further $3.1m is to be made available from the Ministry of Health's Sanitary Works Subsidy Scheme, to help with Stewart Island's sewerage system.

"This funding is an investment in the future of Stewart Island, and the future of Rakiura National Park, one of New Zealand's most spectacular natural areas, and a paradise for trampers," Mr Carter said.

"Rakiura accounts for 93 per cent of Stewart Island. It promises to become a magnificent destination on New Zealand's tourism trail, but the experience of visiting it will be undermined if basic infrastructure on the island is not provided and maintained.

"Stewart Island is a small community of just 400 residents. The costs of infrastructure are high because materials, machinery and labour all need to be shipped to the island. This funding recognises those problems in same the way the government has also done for the Chatham Islands, " Mr Carter said.


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