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Barker being bloody-minded over Karori sanctuary

Mark Blumsky
National Party MP

15 June 2006

Barker being bloody-minded over Karori sanctuary

Internal Affairs Minister Rick Barker’s refusal to review a departmental decision not to grant the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary funding he admits it deserves is sheer bloody-mindedness, says National Party Wellington-based MP Mark Blumsky.

In Parliament today, Mr Barker agreed with the Prime Minister’s statement that the award-winning Karori Wildlife Sanctuary was the sort of project that the Significant Community Based Projects Fund aimed to help, but refused to review the decision-making of officials who declined the sanctuary’s application.

Mr Blumsky says the sanctuary has proven itself against the fund's criteria of securing ‘commitments for significant community support towards the project cost from funding sources other than central government’.

“How can Mr Barker support his department’s decision that the sanctuary does not have sufficient community support in light of the $13 million in community funding, $8 million in pro bono work, 350 volunteers, 5,500 members and 250,000 volunteer hours the sanctuary has received in recent years?

“The sanctuary clearly meets the criteria for this grant. Mr Barker should either fess up and explain to the hundreds of Wellingtonians supporting the venture that he disagrees, or grant them a review,” says Mr Blumsky.

Ends

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