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Budget 2006: $311 million for conservation

Hon Chris Carter
Minister of Conservation

$311 million to be spent on conservation

The Labour-led government is spending $311 million on conservation in 2006/07, Conservation Minister Chris Carter said today.

“Conserving our natural heritage and access to it is a priority for the Labour-led government. Conservation is all about the preservation and restoration of the life and landscapes that make New Zealand what it is," Mr Carter said.

“Since 1999, spending on Vote Conservation has risen by over 80 per cent, from $165 million. This has enabled the Department of Conservation to step up its species preservation programmes to historic levels, with the situation of more than 170 of our most threatened species improved annually as a result.

"Spectacular landscapes have been secured, such as Birchwood Station in the South Island High Country and Kaikoura Island in the Hauraki Gulf. And more than $10 million has also been made available to about 400 community conservation projects on private land all over the country," Mr Carter said.

“This year, the Government will invest $129 million in DOC's management of natural heritage, and $117 million in the provision of recreational opportunities. A key area of focus will be a review of the availability of family friendly camping opportunities, with the aim of preserving access to the traditional kiwi coastal summer holiday.

DOC is also to pilot a Natural Heritage Management System which will provide tools to monitor and evaluate the current state and trends in the condition of key natural heritage assets, such as native forests, and species like kiwi and kakapo.

"Budget 2006 also provides one-off funding of $2 million to enable New Zealand to host the 31st session of the World Heritage Committee in Christchurch in June 2007," Mr Carter said.

"The nine-day World Heritage Committee meeting will be attended by approximately 600 participants and observers from the 178 State Parties to the World Heritage Convention."

ENDS

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