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Partnerships, Pests And Oceans Focus of National's Policy

Partnerships, Pests And Oceans Focus of National's Conservation Policy

National's Bluegreen approach of supporting economic growth and improving New Zealand's natural environment is core to our future, Conservation Spokesman Dr Nick Smith says.

"National is the party best able to marry together good economic and conservation policy. Our 2014 policy is about New Zealand taking the next practical steps to protect our unique flora and fauna, and improving the opportunities for outdoor recreation," Dr Smith says.

"Marine conservation is a major priority. We have created 460,000 hectares of marine reserves in the last three years, compared to just 6,500 hectares during the Labour and Greens' last three years in Government. The next step is a major overhaul of the Marine Reserves Act with a new Marine Protected Areas Act which provides for a wider range of different types of protected areas and improved processes for created marine reserves, parks and sanctuaries.

"We have taken an aggressive stance against pests like rats, stoats and possums that kill 25 million native birds a year. Our commitment is not only to carry out our one million hectares of pest control this beech mast year, but to ramp up the annual area of control from 150,000 hectares to 450,000 hectares per annum.

"We will expand our partnership approach with the community and business to conserve our natural environment. Communities and business have an important role to play with the Department of Conservation in ensuring the survival of our native species and in enhancing the opportunities for New Zealanders to get out and enjoy our great outdoors.

"A specific priority in our next term will be to establish New Zealand's fifteenth national park and the first north of Rotorua in the treasured kauri forests at Waipoua. We have committed $30 million this term to protecting New Zealand's forests from kauri dieback disease. The next step is to work with the local iwi Te Roroa to fund a high-quality upgrade of the visitor facilities to help grow tourism in Northland.

"National's conservation policies are balanced and pragmatic. We are about looking after New Zealand's natural treasures, and enabling more New Zealanders to enjoy our mountains, lakes and oceans but doing it in a practical way that helps New Zealand grow our economy and jobs," Dr Smith concluded.

National’s Conservation policy is available at http://ntnl.org.nz/WKufNE

ENDS

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