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$1.5m partnership to protect DOC heritage huts

Media release

27 February 2013

Three-year $1.5m partnership announced to protect DOC heritage huts

From back country huts way off the beaten track, to lodges located along well worn walkways, the Department of Conservation’s huts have long provided essential shelter for Kiwi outdoor enthusiasts and international tourists.

However, these huts are often exposed to New Zealand’s harshest and most extreme weather conditions and are in need of protection themselves.

The Department of Conservation has announced a $1.5 million partnership with Dulux New Zealand to paint and protect public huts and lodges over the next three years.

The partnership was officially launched today by the Director General of Conservation, Al Morrison, at a function at Konini Lodge, Dawson Falls, on Mt Taranaki. The lodge is one of the first properties to benefit from the new partnership by receiving a paint makeover.

The Department’s 973 recreation huts and lodges, which support more than 14,000 km of track, are well used by New Zealanders. According to the 2012 DOC Annual Report, DOC estimates that two thirds of the 300,000 bed stays per year at the DOC huts and lodges are by New Zealanders.

Al Morrison, Director-General of Conservation said, “Our work with Dulux will deliver measurable conservation gains in recreation and the management of backcountry huts.”

“The maintenance of heritage huts is a huge commitment for DOC and I welcome a partner such as Dulux, which will provide practical and financial assistance towards the upkeep of the hut network.”

“They are special places that international visitors and New Zealanders like to come to and we want the huts to look good when people arrive.”

Under the terms of the partnership, Dulux will provide more than 18,000 litres of paint and wood coating products per year.

Julia Myers, General Manager of Dulux New Zealand, said Dulux has been part of the New Zealand landscape since 1939, when the company first started manufacturing paint at its current manufacturing site and headquarters at Gracefield, Lower Hutt.

Ms Myers said the 900 colours in the company’s signature Dulux Colours of New Zealand range were inspired by the “places that Kiwis love and cherish” so it was fitting that Dulux work with DOC to protect Kiwis’ favourite huts.

Mr. Myers said, “This partnership gives us the opportunity to support the communities that have supported us for more than 70 years in New Zealand.”

“Generations of New Zealanders have enjoyed staying in DOC’s huts and lodges during family, school and university trips and we think it is time many of the huts benefited from a bit of care and attention themselves.“

Ms Myers said that, as well as providing colour advice and expertise to the project, Dulux had proven exterior products that will provide the protection the huts need from the harshest summer and winter weather.

The Tarn Ridge Hut in the Tararua Forest Park was the first hut to have a fresh coat of paint. The next huts selected for a much-needed new coat of paint include:

- Tasman Saddle Hut, at Aoraki, Mt Cook;
- Franz Josef Castle Rocks Hut;
- Robson Lodge, Hawkes Bay (located just off the Napier-Taupo road, this lodge is one of the original farmhouses in the region);
- Kiwi Burn Hut at TeAnau;
- Top Misery Hut, Raglan Range in Marlborough.

For more information about the Dulux partnership visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uuqqs6PVOM


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