14 May 2018

Govt will double what National spent on predator control - Sage

5:23 pm on 14 May 2018

The National Party is wrong to claim the Greens aren't following through on their election promises on conservation, the government says.

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Photo: VNP / Phil Smith

The Labour-led government yesterday said it would give the Department of Conservation an additional $81 million in the budget, over four years, for predator control.

But the National Party's conservation spokesperson, Sarah Dowie, said the Green Party promised to double DOC's budget, and the new money barely kept up with inflation.

However, Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage said yesterday's announcement won't be the only funding on offer.

"This is part of the conservation package in Budget 2018, there's more to come on Thursday, but we have a biodiversity crisis because of possums, rats and stoats," she said.

Ms Sage said when looking at predator control specifically, the government was funding more than double what National had over the past four years.

She said the funding package in 2017 was largely for tourism facilities, not for backing nature by doing extensive predator control.

"National is comparing apples with pears," she said.

She added, under National, DOC's core baseline funding only allowed it to control predators on around 200,000 hectares annually.

"We are going to ramp that sustained control up to 1.85 million hectares on an ongoing basis, that's almost 25 percent of the conservation estate," she said.