Budget 2017 invests an additional $107.8 million to strengthen conservation programmes and manage tourism growth on public conservation land, Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says.
“This funding continues the Government’s commitment to Predator Free 2050 with a range of specific initiatives to protect and restore threatened species, fight kauri dieback, increase predator, pest and weed control and marine protection as well as respond to tourism growth,” Ms Barry says.
The investment includes funding announcements made earlier this month for the latest Battle for Our Birds programme 2017.
The new funding means government conservation funding totals $466 million in 2017/18. This compares to $417.5 million that was spent on conservation in 2008/09.
The additional funding includes:
- $21.3 million operating funding in 2016/17 for Battle for Our Birds pest control programmes targeted at areas with prolific flowering of beech and other forest species that threaten endangered species.
- $44.6 million in operating and $41 million in capital for tourism infrastructure to ease pressure on DOC land and facilities, with an additional $9.7 million capital allocation beyond the four year period.
- A contribution of $750,000 in 2017/18 to the establishment of two new marine protected areas in Hauraki and Marlborough.
In addition to Budget 2017, $4.75 million of operating funding in 2016/17 has been set aside to respond to cover costs associated with the February 2017 Port Hills fires.