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DOC funding boost welcomed

DOC funding boost welcomed

Forest and Bird is hoping that the increase in Department of Conservation funding announced today by Conservation Minister Chris Carter will allow the Department of Conservation to retain expert scientists. DOC is to receive a $24.6m funding boost over four years to cover a serious budget squeeze.

“This increase in funding is excellent news. DOC has become too lean and this is affecting its ability to do the work New Zealanders expect of it,” said Forest and Bird’s Conservation Manager Kevin Hackwell.

Forest and Bird was worried by this year’s reductions in science staff and work programmes as a result of the budget squeeze. We hope these scientists will now be retained by DOC,” he said.

According to the Minister of Conservation, Chris Carter, as part of Budget 2005, DOC is to receive new capability funding totalling $24.6m over four years, excluding GST. This will comprise $3.7m in 2005/6 and $6.9m a year thereafter.

“DOC has a crucial role in protecting New Zealand’s native plants and animals and special places. This work underpins our clean green reputation, sustains tourism and provides recreational opportunities for many New Zealanders,” Mr Hackwell said.

“Lately we have seen some politicians and commentators unfairly knock DOC. Most New Zealanders are proud of the work DOC does, like its heroic work to save the kakapo from extinction. Forest and Bird is proud to be associated with the Kakapo Recovery Programme through the Threatened Species Trust,” he said.

“We are stoked that kakapo breeding has been so successful this year,” he said.

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