NZRA applauds increase in conservation funding

The New Zealand Recreation Association today expressed support for an increase in conservation spending, as outlined in the coalition government agreement.

NZRA Chief Executive Andrew Leslie says the recreation industry, active New Zealanders and tourists deserve a better funded Department of Conservation.

“The Department of Conservation manages one third on New Zealand’s land mass and by its own legislation is required to promote and encourage recreation. More than half of all New Zealanders visit Public Conservation Land at least annually,” Mr Leslie said.

“In recent years, the amount of land under DoC management has increased due to Tenure Review, the population of New Zealand has grown and there has been an explosion in international visitor numbers. Despite these factors, the funding for the management of recreational opportunities has remained static or declined”.

NZRA wishes to see increased DoC funding applied to recreational infrastructure that is used by both locals and tourists.

“Walking and cycling are New Zealand’s most popular forms of recreation. Expenditure on recreational infrastructure such as walking trails and cycleways is not just a coping mechanism for the tourism boom. It also enhances the lives of New Zealanders by way of the numerous social, economic and health benefits of outdoor recreation,” concluded Mr Leslie.

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