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Forest & Bird's Molesworth claims unfounded


Forest & Bird Society's Molesworth claims unfounded

National Party Agriculture spokesman David Carter says it's ridiculous to suggest transferring the management of Molesworth Station from Landcorp to DOC will have major benefits for conservation.

Mr Carter's comments come in a response to a statement from the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society slamming Molesworth's current management.

"The Department of Conservation has earned its title as the most irresponsible land owner in New Zealand. Ask any farmers that own a property next to land under DOC's control.

"Molesworth currently spends $250,000 per year on weed control for 180,000 hectares, that's $1.38 a hectare. DOC spends less than 20 cents a hectare for weed control on approximately one third of the South Island land mass that it controls.

"Broom is the major weed problem on Molesworth, and it will take over unless it is controlled. DOC management will put Molesworth's biodiversity at risk," says Mr Carter.

The Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society also criticised what it sees as limited public access to the station.

"They referred to 'a small area on the western fringes of the property' that has unlimited access. That small area is actually huge - 30,000 hectares plus 90 kilometres of river access," says Mr Carter.

"The property's current management strategy prioritises public access. Any restrictions on access are only imposed when the public or the farm is endangered.

"Minister of Land Information John Tamihere should come clean on the Government's intentions for Molesworth," says Mr Carter.

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