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Duneland with moa bones purchased for public

Hon Chris Carter
Minister of Conservation

18 July 2005 Media Statement

Duneland with moa bones purchased for public

A huge duneland containing moa bones on D'Urville Island in the Marlborough Sounds has been purchased for the public, Conservation Minister Chris Carter announced today.

"This is a very exciting purchase for any New Zealander interested in natural history," Mr Carter said.

"The Nature Heritage Fund has bought a 1797 hectare block of coastal land at Greville Harbour on the western side of D'Urville Island for $3.7m. The block contains the nationally important Bottle Points Cliffs, a beautiful lowland forest, and a rare and dramatic duneland, by the far the largest in the Marlborough Sounds.

"These dunes tower to a height of 25 metres and extend inland for 400m. They are archaelogically significant containing bones of early kakapo, moa, tuatara, kokako and various big petrels," Mr Carter said.

"Behind the dunes lies a lagoon, the largest freshwater body in the Sounds, and an important habitat for waterfowl and freshwater fish.

"This area could easily have ended up in private ownership and on a developer's drawing board. Now it is secured in its natural state for everyone's enjoyment," Mr Carter said.

The new area, which gives way to a lush coastal forest of beech and rimu, will be added to existing conservation land on D'Urville Island and will form a corridor of reserve right across the island.

The purchase has been made as part of the government's Public Wildlands Programme, which is designed to protect a wider variety of New Zealand's most spectacular and valuable nature areas by bringing them into public ownership.

Ownership will transfer in March next year, and public access will be available from that time.


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