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Key’s funding contradiction highlighted

13 May 2010 – Wellington

Forest & Bird media release for immediate use

Forest & Bird highlights Key’s funding contradiction

Independent conservation organisation Forest & Bird believes Prime Minister John Key should match the funding boost to the tourism industry with better protection of the stunning natural landscapes tourists come to see.

Forest & Bird Conservation Advocate Nicola Vallance says Mr Key’s statements about the value of New Zealand’s beautiful scenery don’t sit well with the Government’s move to mine national parks and other precious conservation land.

“If the Tourism Minister is hoping to better sell New Zealand’s wonderful wild landscapes to international tourists, it would be logical to keep them pristine – and free of open-cast mines,” Ms Vallance says.

“Our conservation estate is the foundation of the $21 billion-a-year tourism industry. The Government should be looking to better fund the Department of Conservation to protect the gorgeous landscapes and our amazing native creatures that millions of tourists come to see every year.

“Instead, the Department of Conservation’s budget was last year cut by $54 million over four years. There’s no point selling a clean, green New Zealand if we’re not doing our best to make it clean and green.”

Forest & Bird believes better funding and protection of our conservation estate will improve New Zealand’s overseas earnings and benefit our many endangered plants, birds and other creatures.


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