Introduction

Nelson City Council and DOC are teaming up to deliver the council's multi-million dollar project Nelson Nature to improve Nelson's biodiversity.

Nelson Nature is a priority project for the Council, which targets $6 million over ten years to protecting and restoring Nelson's world class natural environment.

DOC is joining the effort for the next three years by helping to project manage Nelson Nature, using its technical expertise to apply conservation best practice and aligning the agencies' work programmes to maximise outcomes.

Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese says, "By combining each organisation's strengths, this partnership will provide a strategic approach across land boundaries to make the most of the Council's significant investment in the Nelson Nature programme.

"Working together, and alongside our local environmental groups, we can provide an integrated and coordinated approach to environmental management for the region.

"Thanks to Nelson's compact size geographically, and this unique partnership approach between the two agencies, Nelson Nature has the opportunity to be one of the most holistic, all-encompassing biodiversity projects carried out in New Zealand. We are thrilled to have the Department on board."

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says Nelson Nature is an outstanding initiative that will protect and enhance the city's conservation values.

"DOC's partnership with Nelson City Council is a perfect match and we both bring complimentary skills to this visionary project. The DOC team's strong technical skills will ensure conservation best practice is achieved, and it's that strong combination with an actively engaged community and committed local political leadership, that makes this such a great recipe for success.

"By working together and aligning our efforts with other local conservation groups, DOC can achieve much more to make Nelson's nature thrive."

The Minister adds: "There are successful examples of nationally significant conservation values in Nelson and this is a community that's to be congratulated for successfully waging its own war on weeds to protect native plants and bush, and battles for its highly valued birds against predators."

Mayor Reese says Nelson Nature supports Nelson's reputation as a holiday hot spot and a centre for ecotourism, where residents and visitors can experience nature right on the city's door step.

"From our majestic coastlines and estuaries to our rivers and native forests, the Nelson region has some of the most diverse and ecologically significant environments in the country that need protection for future generations to enjoy."

This year, the work programme for Nelson Nature includes managing pest animals in the city's backdrop and inland hill country to allow native birds to thrive, boosting weed control in key areas to give Nelson's native forests a better chance of survival, and improving water quality across Nelson's waterways.

Nelson City Council and the Department of Conservation are keen to continue to work closely with local environmental groups, harnessing their skill, enthusiasm, and local knowledge to get this work done.

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