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National Park Status for Alpine Wetland Needed

Press Release 21-7-2010
For Immediate Release

Save Happy Valley Coalition Calls for National Park Status for Alpine Wetland

The Save Happy Valley Coalition offers support for the National Government's decision to scrap plans to mine NZ national parks under schedule 4, though continues to urge policy makers not to mine valuable biodiversity hotspots that lack state protection as National Parks, such as Happy Valley, near Westport in the South Island. 

The planned Cypress Mine imposes severe threats to this irreplaceable New Zealand alpine wetland habitat, and National's recent change of policy will not save places like this.  Happy Valley is a very rare alpine red-tussock grassland home to thirteen threatened species, including a breeding population of Great-spotted Kiwi and the core population of the endangered landsnail  Powelliphanta patrickensis.

Spokesperson Graham Jury says "New Zealanders have successfully stood up together for the protection of iconic places of natural beauty such as Great Barrier Island and the Corromandel Peninsula.  Despite this, our natural heritage is not sufficiently protected under our current national parks, and the changes to schedule 4. Moreover, the new joint-decision making powers over such areas granted to The Minister of Energy and Resources puts them at even greater risk."

"While Cyprus remains on the cards, endemic species are in grave danger.  So lets see Happy Valley preserved as a valued national treasure too.  This precious area needs national park status before it is reduced to coal slag and weeds."

Jury states "all biodiversity rich areas deserve our protection from unsustainable industrial development, especially remote ones that are made vulnerable due to being out of the public eye".


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