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Kiwi a winner

8 June 2000

MEDIA RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE USE

Kiwi a winner

Contact: Keith Chapple, phone (07) 895-4560 or 025 517-020 or Barry Weeber, phone (04) 385-7374 work or (04) 389-1696

Kiwi should be a big winner from the Government's announcement of increased funding for conservation, environment and biosecurity according to the Forest and Bird Protection Society.

The $2 million annual funding for kiwi would fund the establishment of five kiwi sanctuaries. The kiwi sanctuaries concept was developed by Forest and Bird who have campaigned for its adoption.

Forest and Bird President Keith Chapple said that he believed ten or twelve kiwi sanctuaries were required to properly secure the future of kiwi. "But we will celebrate these five sanctuaries as a very promising start to reversing the fortunes of our unique national bird."

Mr Chapple said the total package of $187 million spread over conservation, environment, biosecurity and fisheries, over the next five years, was welcomed by Forest and Bird as it represented a significant real increase in expenditure in these areas.

Mr Chapple said the priorities chosen for the increased spending were generally very sound.

"I am delighted to see extra funding for weed and pest control on DoC lands, increased funding for the protection of natural areas on private land, for the creation of new marine reserves, and for biosecurity.

"New Zealand is listed as one of just 25 global biodiversity hotspots. We have a unique and treasured heritage of native plants and animals. The Labour-Alliance Government has got off to a promising start in safeguarding our biodiversity by ending the logging of the West Coast forests and now giving conservation funding a substantial boost."

"Further green initiatives are required but, for the time being, I am pleased at the progress being made."

..... ends


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