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Nats keep hidden agenda off the table

6 September 2008 Media Release

Nats keep hidden agenda off the table

National has released a bland and imitative conservation policy and that keeps their real agenda off the table, Conservation Minister Steve Chadwick said today.

“This policy shows that after nine years they are yet to come up with any ideas of their own,” Steve Chadwick said.

Steve Chadwick was commenting following yesterday’s leak of National’s conservation policy which was officially announced at the party’s Bluegreen conference today.

“While John Key talks of change, National’s conservation policy is simply a repackaging of some existing Labour initiatives.

“Labour has already made community-led conservation a priority by establishing three funds that have now supported 880 projects and contributed to the management of 340,000 hectares of land.

“As for National’s criticism that the Department of Conservation is unable to work with the community, why then, did more than 7900 volunteers show up last year to put in more than 19,000 days worth of work?

“It also ignores two of the biggest areas of development in conservation – marine protection and the ongoing effort to create a network of high country parks with improved public access for some of our most valuable heritage in the South Island.

“Their previous Bluegreen policy contained a much more radical agenda that proposed making the Conservation Authority into a corporatised fundraiser that would trade our heritage for private business gains.

“The leaked policy is so bland that you’ve got to ask what is National not telling us? When will they front up with their real agenda for New Zealanders’ most valuable natural assets?”

ends

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