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Auckland Gets Lasting APEC Thank You

Prime Minister Jenny Shipley today announced funding for a special garden to help conserve New Zealand's most threatened plant species, as a thank you to Auckland for hosting the recent APEC meeting.

The Prime Minister made the announcement at the Ellerslie Flower Show in the Botanic Gardens - the site of the proposed garden. The Government will contribute $100,000 to the project funded from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

"Auckland did us proud during APEC with many leaders commenting on what an attractive and friendly city Auckland was. This project is one way of directly thanking the people of Auckland for their help while supporting a very worthwhile project at the same time.

"We asked the Auckland Mayoral Forum for the best way to fund a lasting project for the city, and are delighted to support a garden to protect endangered plants," the Prime Minister said.

The garden of threatened plants will conserve and display rare and endangered native plants from the Auckland region. The Auckland Regional Council estimates there are 170 threatened plants in the Auckland conservancy.

"This garden will introduce many of the rare and endangered plants in the region to people who may have never seen them in the wild. Many of the plants are unfamiliar and inaccessible to most Aucklanders at present.

"This garden will bring them to the people of Auckland in a beautiful setting.

"This garden symbolises a great partnership between local government and central government working together for a great cause - to protect our natural history for future generations to enjoy," Mrs Shipley said.

ENDS

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