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Minister clarifies DOC budget

Hon Maggie Barry

Minister of Conservation
30 May 2016 Media Statement

Minister clarifies DOC budget

New Zealand conservation will benefit from Budget 2016 with a wide range of funding commitments to protect native wildlife and landscapes, Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says.

Suggestions from the Opposition and some NGOs there has been a cut in DOC’s budget are incorrect.

“In reacting to the Treasury documents released as part of Budget Day, the $472m figure for the final total Vote Conservation spend in 2015/16 has been compared with the starting figure for the Vote in 2016/17 - $430m.

“Commentators have overlooked the fact $20.7m of that perceived shortfall is new funding for Battle for our Birds 2016, provided for in last week’s Budget. This money has been released immediately into the 15/16 financial year in response to the current predator threat facing vulnerable species.”

DOC also has approval in principle to carry over a further $20m to 16/17 due to unexpected delays in a number of projects.

These transfers range from weather related hold-ups to its $3.9m Antipodes Islands Million Dollar Mouse campaign and community project delays, along with ongoing Treaty settlement implementation work.

“Money carried forward in this way due to issues such as weather events or funding community-based conservation projects is not unusual for an operational department like DOC.

“There has clearly been some inaccurate, confusing and misleading interpretation of the DOC budget. Director-General Lou Sanson has said NGOs are welcome to look through DOC’s books and have them explained by finance staff, and I encourage them to take up this offer.”

ends

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