Conservation work in New Zealand will be supercharged by substantially increasing the amount of money available to hard-working volunteer groups.
“We have a beautiful natural environment, and the efforts of local communities are crucial to protecting our landscape and native species for future generations,” National Party Conservation Spokesperson Maggie Barry says.
To support these groups, National will more than double the amount of funding available through the Department of Conservation Community Fund, from $4.6 million to $10 million a year.
“Local communities play a vital part in conserving our natural environment - from the War on Weeds and wilding conifer control to predator trapping networks, wetland restoration and the upkeep of historic huts.
“Since opening in 2014 the DOC Community Fund has supported more than 300 projects. National is determined to give volunteer groups them even more support – teaming DOC expertise with community enthusiasm to achieve goals neither could manage alone.
“Increased funding will enable more community groups to expand their scale and ambition. It means we can support multi-year initiatives and enable the use of new technologies, including biological controls for weeds.”
“This new community funding is on top of the additional $4 million a year DOC will receive as a result of National introducing additional charges for international tourists using our Great Walks.
“National is committed to protecting what makes this country special, helping DOC and volunteer groups to work together to protect our beautiful landscape and native species.”
As part of this announcement, National also released its Community and Voluntary Sector policy, setting out its commitment to working with our volunteers and community organisations.