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Greens to bring birds close to home

Green Party Aims To Bring Native Birds Closer To Town

The Green Party launched its conservation policy today promising to bring back native birds to New Zealand towns and the countryside.

"The Greens offer hope that we will again see native birds as part of our everyday lives," party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said today. The party would support local conservation of bird habitat, for example of forest and wetland, plus stream restoration and pest control, through a new fund to match the contributions of local councils dollar for dollar.

"A dollar-for-dollar fund will allow councils to be more proactive in supporting conservation; they won't have to rely solely on stopping people from damaging the environment through the Resource Management Act," she said.

"There are exciting employment opportunities especially for young people, and it's best managed at a local level."

The policy commits to doubling the funding for voluntary conservation on private land, to around $20 million. The extra resources would go to the Nature Heritage Fund; Nga Whenua Rahui, helping Maori landowners, and the QEII Trust; helping farmers to protect natural areas on their land.

"At the moment people who want support to protect natural areas on their land are regularly turned away through lack of funds," Ms Fitzsimons said.

The Greens are also promoting the "farm park" concept, to maintain ecosystems and landscapes and facilitate public access and tourism.

Co-Leaders Jeanette Fitzsimons and Rod Donald, along with noted conservation photographer and Green list candidate Craig Potton, will launch the party's flagship conservation policy to supporters, environmentalists and the public during a visual presentation by Mr Potton at Unitech's Blue Lecture Theatre, Auckland, (entry from Gate 3, Carrington Rd), at 8pm today. Jeanette Fitzsimons MP 025 586068, Rod Donald MP 025 507183


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