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Minister of Conservation, The Hon. Kate Wilkinson has today launched a new agenda to protect and enhance New Zealand’s parks, reserves and open spaces.

Date:  18 February 2010

Minister of Conservation, The Hon. Kate Wilkinson has today launched a new agenda to protect and enhance New Zealand’s parks, reserves and open spaces.

The New Zealand and Australian Parks Industry Agenda highlights the key challenges faced by parks today - such as encroaching urban development, climate change and invasive pests - and proposes a range of actions to address them.

Murray Waititi, Greater Wellington Parks Manager, Wellington Regional Council; Fran Wilde, Chair, Wellington Regional Council; Kevin O'Connor, General Manager Research and Development, DOC; Al Morrison, DOC, CEO; Kate Wilkinson, MOC; and Andy Thompson, NZ Programme Manager for Parks Forum.
Murray Waititi, Fran Wilde, Kevin
O'Connor, Al Morrison, Kate Wilkinson
and Andy Thompson

The Agenda, developed by the Parks Forum, calls for industry groups to work closely with each other across a range of parks issues from building biodiversity and managing pests, to better utilising parks to promote social connections, education and improved health.

New Zealand’s parks and reserves underpin that brand and also play a critical role in sustaining air quality, water quality, and in helping to make New Zealand one of the greatest living spaces on earth,” she said.

The use of parks and open spaces by New Zealanders and visitors alike contributes hugely to our economy through tourism. They also provide a venue for communities to come together for cultural and recreational activities and they can reduce our reliance on health services.

DOC Director General, Al Morrison said a common agenda would focus efforts on priority areas. “Protected areas are our storehouse for biodiversity and are powerful economic drivers. Park managers across NZ and Australia have to deal with a wide range of issues from species protection, climate change, pest control, fire, visitation, commercial use, historic and cultural values.”

Greater Wellington Regional Council Chair Fran Wilde said the Industry Agenda complemented the Wellington Regional Strategy’s Open Space Strategy.

"Our region’s parks are some of our greatest assets, helping to protect our natural world, build healthy communities, contribute to our economy and celebrate our culture. We are excited about working with other agencies to achieve a quality parks and open space network that will improve our biodiversity and provide even more opportunities for residents and visitors to experience and enjoy our parks.”


Additional information

The industry agenda was developed by Parks Forum with leading industry professionals in New Zealand and Australia. Parks Forum is the peak body for park management organisations, with members across Australia, New Zealand and the UK.

The industry agenda, highlights five fundamental areas and outlines the action required to start addressing them.  These are;

  1. Managing our parks effectively,
  2. Building Indigenous recognition and engagement,
  3. Building and sustaining healthy park systems
  4. Managing parks sustainably in a time of climate change, and
  5. Ensuring an ongoing and sustainable relationship between parks and the wider community issues like.”

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Andy Thompson, DOC, +64 27 539 8800

Kevin O’Connor, DOC, +64 27 220 9787

See also:

Parks and recreation

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