Date: 22 April 2009 Source: Office of the Minister of Conservation
Conservation Minister Tim Groser today announced changes to the boundary of the Oteake Conservation Park to exclude a 195 hectare area over the Hawkdun lignite deposit - a significant resource of recoverable energy.
The conservation park straddles the mountain ranges between the mid-Waitaki Valley and Central Otago.
"From its original 65,000 hectares, the park will now be 64, 805 hectares. This is a very small change to the area of the park, but one of significant importance to the energy decisions of future generations.
"There are no immediate plans to mine the deposit, but there could be significant national benefits from the resource. Hawkdun could yield liquid fuels equivalent to New Zealand's transport requirements for 15 to 20 years.
"The area over the deposit remains protected public conservation land adjoining the park. Any decisions on its future use are decisions for future generations," Mr Groser said.
There is an informal Department of Conservation camping area at the Hawkdun site. Public walking, mountain biking, and 4WD mountain touring tracks radiate out from the camping area into the Oteake Conservation Park.
Surveying of the boundary has been completed and the park is on track to be formally opened this coming summer.