Mainlanders twice as likely to visit national parks as North Islanders
Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication.
IntroductionA new survey indicates that South Islanders are twice as likely to visit a national park as their North Island counterparts.
Date: 13 September 2010
A new survey indicates that South Islanders are twice as likely to visit a national park as their North Island counterparts.
With the Department of Conservation (DOC) asking New Zealanders to ‘Show your country you love it’ during Conservation Week (September 12 – 19), the survey 1 reveals:
- One in three (32%) South Island residents visited a national park last year compared to one in six (17%) North Island residents.
- One in three (29%) Christchurch residents visited a national park last year compared to one in ten (11%) Aucklanders and one in six (17%) Wellingtonians.
Barbara Browne, DOC’s General Manager Operations for the North Island, said the figures were both encouraging and revealing.
“It’s fantastic that one in three people on the Mainland headed to a national park last year – it shows that public conservation land really counts in the daily lives of those living in the South Island,” she said.
“So are North Islanders less interested in the places that make New Zealand so special? I don’t think so - I think with only four of New Zealand’s 14 National Parks north of Cook Strait, North Islanders are simply less able to access the National Park experience.
“That’s why we are working hard to create more recreation opportunities closer to our biggest population centres.”
- An award winning programme to breathe life back into Motutapu and Rangitoto Islands in the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park – providing new protected wildlife sanctuaries and additional recreation opportunities on Auckland’s doorstep.
- Work on a proposed new National Park centred around Northland’s magnificent kauri forests and including New Zealand’s largest known living kauri tree – Tane Mahuta (Lord of the Forest)
- On-going work with local communities to create a series of new cycle and walking trails in the Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Central North Island and Wanganui regions.
“We know Aucklanders value the special places close to their city – more than 300 000 people visit the Goat Island Marine Reserve a year – we’re encouraging them to get out as often as they can to enjoy the wonderful conservation opportunities on offer.”
Conservation Week annually encourages New Zealanders to take advantage of the natural wonders that New Zealand has to offer – and to get involved. More than 150 Conservation Week events are taking place across the country this year.
“When you ask New Zealanders what they love about their country, other than the All Blacks on a good day, they’ll almost always talk about the mountains, the forest, the bush, the beaches and the birds. We’re blessed with beauty in this country, but it doesn’t take care of itself,” said Barbara.
“DOC and many others are working day and night to protect and preserve the things that make New Zealand unique, and during Conservation Week we’re asking people to show their love and take part!”
1 Survey: National Park and Other DOC Area Participation, UMR Research. A telephone survey of 750 New Zealanders aged 18 and over; conducted from 17th – 21st June 2010.
Chris Pitt, Senior Media Advisor
Ph: +64 4 495 8593 or +64 27 4846 810