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Unique West Coast forest to be protected

29 January 2008

Unique West Coast forest to be protected

One of the largest remaining blocks of original lowland forest in central Westland will now be protected as a new conservation reserve, says Conservation Minister Steve Chadwick.

“135 hectares of forest land that contains a mix of beech trees and podocarps has been bought at Ahaura in the Grey Valley. Podocarps include some of New Zealand’s tallest trees, like rimu, totara, matai and kahikatea.

“This is a very exciting purchase because it guarantees protection for a very special part of New Zealand’s unique forest environment, for future generations to learn about and enjoy.

“The new reserve is a flat river terrace covered in natural forest, which is quite rare as this type of land is mostly used for farming. There are a lot of kahikatea trees, which have fruit that is an important food source for local birds, such as kereru.

“The purchase is part of the Labour-led government’s commitment to preserving our national heritage, and making sure New Zealand remains one of the most special places on earth.”

The purchase was funded through the Oceana Gold mining access compensation package.


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