11 Aug 2020

National Party conservation policy pledges predator-free 2050 funding

4:10 pm on 11 August 2020

The National Party has promised to recommit to making New Zealand predator-free by 2050 and fully fund efforts to achieve the target if elected in September.

Judith Collins and Jacqui Dean

National Party leader Judith Collins and conservation spokesperson Jacqui Dean. Photo: RNZ / Simon Rogers

The party is promising to give $15 million to the Department of Conservation for predator-free ecological sanctuaries and other breeding programmes including Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari, Zealandia and Orokonui.

"We are the party of practical conservation, we want all New Zealanders to be able to enjoy our great outdoors," National leader Judith Collins says.

The party would create two new National Parks - one on the Coromandel Peninsula and one in the Catlins, as well as two new Great Walks, including one along the Kaimai Range from Mt Te Aroha to SH29.

National is also promising to work iwi to establish the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary, alongside further marine reserves.

"We're lucky to have some of the most beautiful landscapes and wildlife in the world. The establishment of new National Parks and the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary will protect and improve our biodiversity while ensuring more Kiwis get to experience our natural environment."

The party says it would also update the 1993 Tahr management plan to "ensure it balances environmental needs with commercial and recreational hunting opportunities".

"National knows that recreation is at the heart of our conservation estate," the party's conservation spokesperson Jacqui Dean says.

"We will ensure New Zealanders are able to continue to enjoy access to recreational fishing, whitebaiting and hunting.

"National will take a balanced, long-term and pragmatic approach to conservation to ensure that all New Zealanders - both here today and future generations - will have the opportunity to experience and enjoy our incredible natural environment."

The party also committed to ensuring commercial fishing stocks are managed sustainably, so recreational fishers are not adversely impacted.

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