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Dollar for dollar funding for Mainland Islands

Don Brash MP
National Party Leader

13 September 2005

Dollar for dollar funding for Mainland Islands

“National will create a $7 million per year ‘Mainland Island’ fund to provide dollar for dollar support for community conservation projects,” National Party leader Don Brash announced at Maungatautari Ecological Island today.

“National believes that protecting our special native birds like kiwi and kokako is best done in partnership with communities.

“The benefit of community conservation is that taxpayer dollars go further and communities take ownership of saving local flora and fauna.

“National rejects the view that protecting our unique environment is the sole preserve of government agencies. We believe that private initiative, community spirit and private enterprise can all contribute to enhancing our conservation efforts.

“The Maungatautari Restoration Project is exactly the sort of initiative that National will support with our ‘Mainland Island’ fund.

“The Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust has been raising funds for several years in order to help restore the forest on Manugatautari and create a pest-free wildlife haven open to visitors. We applaud this initiative.

“Our policy also includes the use of young long-term unemployed on work-for-the dole environmental projects.

“National’s plan for the environment is based on our belief that New Zealanders have a unique birthright to enjoy our special places.

“National knows that economic growth and improving the environment go hand-in-hand.

“We will advance a practical environmental agenda that will make real progress on the issues that matter to mainstream New Zealanders,” said Dr Brash.

ENDS


National Party Environment Policy

National is ambitious for New Zealand’s environment. We want the “100% Pure” brand to be much more than an advertising gimmick. We want to advance a practical environmental plan that will make real progress on real issues.

New Zealand’s unique biodiversity, beautiful scenery and special recreational opportunities must be conserved for future generations.

National’s approach to environmental and conservation policies recognises that:

- New Zealanders have a unique birthright to enjoy our special places.

- Good science is essential to quality environmental decision-making.

- People respond best to change when engaged and given incentives.

National Will:

- Create a $7 million ‘Mainland Island’ fund to provide dollar-for-dollar support for community conservation initiatives.

-- The purpose of the fund will be to protect native flora and fauna.

-- Projects will involve the community, have the support of local councils and include a conservation education dimension.

-- The fund will be particularly aimed at ‘Mainland Island’ initiatives.

-- An advisory board independent of the Department of Conservation (DOC) will allocate the funding.

-- Applicants will have to demonstrate that every dollar of public funding will be matched with private funds.

-- Examples of projects that would be eligible include the Maungatatauri (Cambridge) and Lake Rotokare (Hawera) projects.

- Develop with the Ministry of Social Development community work schemes for long term and young unemployed to enhance the environment.

- Establish the New Zealand Environment Protection Authority, incorporating the existing Environment Risk Management Authority, to develop consistent environmental standards.

- Establish 25 new camping grounds on DOC land to ensure future generations of New Zealanders continue to enjoy the classic Kiwi camping holiday.

- Legislate to ensure that local people, particularly recreational users, have a greater say in the development of marine reserves.

- Engage with recreational and outdoors groups to better involve them in decision-making relating to the conservation estate.

ENDS

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