Egmont National Park Centenary
The 100th anniversary of Egmont National Park will draw the Prime Minister and the Minister of Conservation to separate functions on Friday (20 October), to re-open public facilities refurbished to mark the centenary.
Conservation Minister Sandra Lee will open the newly renovated North Egmont visitor centre early in the morning. Prime Minister Helen Clark is then scheduled to open the revamped Dawson Falls visitor centre. The upgrades of both DOC centres and related visitor facilities have cost more than $1.5m.
Ms Lee said Egmont National Park, as the second oldest of New Zealand's 13-national parks, was established to protect its indigenous forests and other natural resources from being plundered or destroyed.
"It is appropriate that the Prime Minister and I should be celebrating a hundred years of preserving natural resources with high conservation values at the Egmont National Park in the same week that the Government passes legislation to safeguard the Crown-managed West Coast indigenous forests," she said.
Ms Lee said Egmont National Park started out as a forest reserve in 1881, and it was gazetted a national park on 20 October 1900. She said many groups and organisations had been involved in park protection work during the past century, including the Scenic Preservation Society, local boards and local authorities, the old Lands and Survey Department, as well as DOC from 1987 working with the Taranaki-Whanganui Conservation Board.
"The new focus is on greater involvement with the wider community including tangata whenua, leading towards improved cooperation in the management of the park," said Ms Lee.