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Labour and Nats squabbling over crumbs

5 September 2008

Labour and Nats squabbling over crumbs of recreation

UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne is yet to be convinced that there will be any change in the management of the Department of Conservation despite the leak of National’s conservation policy today

“It seems as though both major parties are squabbling over a few crumbs amounting to a false commitment to recreation,” said Mr Dunne.

UnitedFuture is particularly concerned at the attitude of DoC towards recreational users such as large game hunters and fishers. As a consequence, I want to ensure that the Department is required to consult with all relevant stakeholder groups in a fair, balanced and transparent way.

“Those who consistently use our backcountry to hunt, tramp and climb in are the most important recreational and conservation stakeholders we have; these are the people whose love for the outdoors deserves to be better reflected in Government policy.”

“For too long hunters and other backcountry users have been marginalized and treated with disdain, as if they are unwanted invaders of our wilderness areas.”

“UnitedFuture is committed to addressing the current imbalance between conservation and recreation by pursuing practical policies that will have a positive impact on both.”

“We will seek to restructure the Department of Conservation into two semi-autonomous divisions - one division responsible for the “conservation” aspects such as scientific research, pest control, and native plant and animal stewardship; the other division responsible for the “recreation” aspects such as land and waterway access, track and hut maintenance, game management, and tourism.”

“UnitedFuture has and will continue to fight for greater recognition of outdoor recreation in Government policy,” said Mr Dunne.

UnitedFuture’s Outdoor Recreation Policy is available at http://www.unitedfuture.org.nz/default,194,outdoor_recreation.sm

ENDS

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