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$20.5 million for enhancing NZ's environment

$20.5 million for enhancing New Zealand's environment

Cleaning up contaminated sites and enhancing biodiversity and biosecurity are the focus of a new Budget intiative.

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Cleaning up contaminated sites and enhancing biodiversity and biosecurity are the focus of $20.5 million in Budget funding, announced today by Research Science and Technology Minister Steve Maharey and Environment Minister David Benson-Pope.

"This package will advance work we are doing to clean up contaminated sites, and fund new research to enhance biodiversity and protect biosecurity," Steve Maharey said. "The Labour-led government recognises that an investment in the environment is vital to transforming our economy and preserving the New Zealand way of life.

"The Budget provides an additional $16 million over the next four years through Vote Research, Science and Technology for research to enhance biodiversity and protect biosecurity, and $4.5 million over the next three years through Vote Environment to clean up contaminated sites."

Environment Minister David Benson-Pope said protecting and enhancing the environment was a priority for the Labour-led government.

"New Zealand has an unwanted legacy of potentially contaminated sites from activities like pesticide manufacture, coal gas production, mining, rubbish disposal, timber treatment, and sheep dipping.

"In cooperation with local government we have been addressing this issue, but more resources are required as we meet people's expectations about environmental quality."

Steve Maharey said the research funding would assist the government in dealing with key issues around biodiversity and biosecurity.

"The areas we will focus on, include research to improve pest management, vital to halting the decline in New Zealand's biodiversity; fresh water biosecurity research, particularly aquatic weeds like Didymo."

ENDS

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