Clubs Call on Key to give $8m of Tourism's $158m to DOC
Federated Mountain Clubs Calls on Key to give $8 Million of Tourism’s $158 Million to DOC
Invercargill, 21 April 2013
Trampers and mountaineers call on Prime Minister John Key to reduce the money he has promised the Tourism sector to attract wealthy tourists to New Zealand from $158 million to $150 million. The difference should be spent on the Department of Conservation so that they don’t have to cut back their work in the coming financial year and lay off staff, says Federated Mountain Clubs President, Robin McNeill.
“DOC staff must be feeling pretty gutted – here they are working themselves into the ground trying to look after the landscape, plants and animals that attract tourists to New Zealand knowing that their jobs are on the line because the DOC budget has been hit $8million this year, and then find that the Tourism sector has attracted this windfall”.
By underfunding DOC so that it can’t sustain our natural heritage, the Government is actually undervaluing Tourism, making it another unsustainable, extractive industry alongside mining, says Mr McNeill.
“For less than 1/3 of the amount promised to Tourism, Stewart Island could be made predator-free. Now, that really would attract tourists to New Zealand. Who wouldn’t want that?”.