Date: 15 October 2009 Source: Office of the Minister of Conservation
Conservation Minister Tim Groser has asked the New Zealand Conservation Authority (NZCA) to investigate the creation of a new National Park in Northland.
"I have formally asked the NZCA to begin its investigation and consultation process towards giving National Park status to the conservation land surrounding the great Kauri forests of Northland.
"The proposed National Park in the Waipoua Forest, north of Dargaville, is a pristine forest area with outstanding natural, historic and recreational values.
"The area includes the magnificent Tane Mahuta (Lord of the Forest) - New Zealand's largest known living Kauri tree - and Trounson Kauri Park which has a magnificent dense stand of Kauri. A visit to Tane Mahuta is part of the iconic kiwi experience for visitors and tourists alike.
"It is has been estimated that only 2 per cent of our Kauri remains - most of that in the forests of Northland. There are currently no National Parks in the area and this Government is committed to protecting this amazing landscape," Mr Groser said.
The Kauri forests of Northland are also home to several threatened species, such as North Island brown kiwi, kukupa (NZ pigeon), pekapeka (bats) and Kauri snails.
Investigating the proposed new National Park may take up to a year and includes significant consultation with the tangata whenua, Te Iwi o Te Roroa, local authorities, iwi groups and the public.