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New Visitor Centre For Coromandel Peninsula

Hon Steve Chadwick
Minister of Conservation

17 October 2008 Media Statement

New Visitor Centre For Coromandel Peninsula

An award-winning Department of Conservation visitor centre in the Kauaeranga Valley east of Thames will provide inspirational surroundings for people seeking information about the Coromandel Peninsula, says Conservation Minister Steve Chadwick.

The Centre will be officially opened by the Minister at a dawn ceremony tomorrow. Steve Chadwick said department staff had patiently waited four-years for the new building, which replaces former facilities lost in a fire in October 2004.

"The new centre will provide comprehensive visitor information services for the Kauaeranga Valley and wider Hauraki Area, including other parts of the Coromandel Peninsula.

"It is a major part of the department's role to actively promote outdoor education for New Zealanders, especially through fostering recreation, use and enjoyment on conservation land," Steve Chadwick said.

"Department's staff in visitor centres throughout New Zealand play a vital role in providing information for visitors to our conservation lands. That is especially true here in the Kauaeranga Valley where so many of our visitors are of school age or in school groups, whether they are heading up to the Pinnacles Hut or looking to camp in other parts of the valley."

Steve Chadwick stressed the importance of young people enjoying a positive, first-time conservation experience if they are to develop an ongoing interest in the great outdoors and the proper care and use of our environments.

The $1 million replacement Visitor Centre was designed by architect Gavin Robins of Styles and Hooker, and has won a 2008 design award in the Bay of Plenty / Waikato Region in the Public Architecture category.


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