8 October 2008
St James worthy of new National Park: Greens
The Green Party believes the Government's purchase of the iconic St James Station announced today gives an opportunity
to create a new National Park centred on the Lewis Pass highway.
Green Party Conservation Spokesperson Metiria Turei welcomes the purchase and says the area would make a great new
National Park - or an exciting addition to nearby Nelson Lakes National Park - that would afford appropriate
conservation protection and recreational opportunities.
"I do agree with the Federated Mountain Clubs however, that the Department of Conservation needs to be adequately
resourced to protect and manage our new public lands," Mrs Turei says.
"The Greens have already committed to immediately boost DOC funding by $100 million, to double pest control funding, and
our forthcoming Tourism policy will also contain measures to assist DOC."
Green Party Outdoor Recreation Spokesperson Quentin Duthie says the area is already an iconic attraction so the purchase
is a strategic coup for all New Zealanders.
"Many Kiwis will know the St James and Lewis pass areas well, especially the popular St James Walkway, but would be
surprised to know that much of this area is not part of the National Park - indeed some of highest snowy peaks in the
area are half in National Park and half outside.
"The long-awaited St James purchase is an opportunity to pull together the conservation and reserve land around the
Lewis Pass highway, the St James Walkway area and the upper Waiau and Clarence valleys into a National Park, connecting
to the much-loved Nelson Lakes National Park and creating new economic development opportunities along the Lewis Pass
"I believe outdoor lovers nation-wide will welcome the purchase and agree with the Greens' call to protect it as
Mrs Turei says the Greens are calling on the Minister to ask the local Conservation Boards and the New Zealand
Conservation Authority to investigate a National Park and make a recommendation to the Minister after public
"The Greens are pleased with this use of the Nature Heritage Fund, despite the hefty $40 million price-tag, because the
evidence is clear that tenure review has often resulted in a loss of threatened biodiversity and misuse of taxpayer