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Minister Mourns Death Of Bing Lucas

Minister Mourns Death Of Conservationist Bing Lucas

The Minister of Conservation Hon Sandra Lee today paid tribute to Wellington conservationist Bing Lucas who died while on a family tramp on the Queen Charlotte Walkway in the Marlborough Sounds on Sunday.

“My condolences to his family and friends, " Ms Lee said. "I understand he was a deeply committed family man, despite all his national and international commitments, and particularly devoted to his grandchildren. His death is also a loss to the New Zealand and the international conservation movement."

“Bing Lucas was a kaumatua of New Zealand conservation who truly made a difference," Ms Lee said. "He has worked tirelessly for more than three decades to promote conservation and was held in the highest regard for his commitment and passion. A former Director-General of Lands and Survey, he lifted the profile and priority of conservation within the Department long before conservation was a household word.”

At the time of his death Mr Lucas was an executive member of the World Conservation Union's Commission on Protected Areas. His other posts included serving as an advisory group member for the University of Wales International Centre for Protected Landscapes and an Environmental Advisory Group member for the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He had recently stepped down as World Conservation Union vice-chair (World Heritage).

His New Zealand awards included the Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society's Old Blue Award for services to conservation, the NZ Planning Institute's AO Glasse Award for services to tourism and national parks planning, and the Ian Galloway Memorial Cup and Outstanding Achievement Award presented by the NZ Institute of Park and Recreation Administration.

Mr Lucas was a Companion of the Queen’s Service Order and was awarded the New Zealand 1990 Commemoration Medal. The Netherlands government made him an Officer of the Order of the Golden Ark in 1994 "for a lifetime of outstanding service to conservation in New Zealand and the world." He is survived by his wife, two adult children, and five grandchildren. A service of remembrance will be held at the Tawa-Linden Baptist church tomorrow (Wednesday) followed by a private cremation.

Ends

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