Govt must increase DOC funding across the board

Published: Mon 9 May 2016 10:25 AM
7 May 2016
Govt must increase DOC funding across the board
The National Government’s pre-Budget announcement that it will spend $20.7 million on pest control on conservation land doesn’t go far enough to protect our native species and landscapes, the Green Party said today.
“While it’s commendable that Maggie Barry has put aside this money to concentrate on pest control, other areas of the Department of Conservation (DOC) are going to have to make up the shortfall to pay for it,” said Green Party conservation spokesperson Kevin Hague.
“The National Government is great at talking up projects, but they come at the expense of other projects. Already DOC is struggling with continual cuts to its funding.
“DOC’s funding has been cut radically since the last Labour Government, showing what lip service the Government pays to the native species and outdoor spaces New Zealanders love. On average, National’s funding for conservation has been $50 million less each year since the last Labour Government.
“This funding has been announced to deal with a ‘mast’ season, or heavy fruiting season in which rats and stoat populations explode. We’ll see more of these as the impact of climate change comes home to roost, so the Government should be putting a lot more resource into DOC to get pest populations under control. We risk losing our native species if it doesn’t.
“The Green Party would restore DOC funding to pre-National Government levels, and protect the native species, landscapes and places we love,” Mr Hague said.

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