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Government Boosts Funding For Pest Management

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

12 June 2008 - Wilding pines, gorse and broom, rabbits, goats and possums are among the pests to be targeted across the country as a result of the recent funding boost for Regional Pest Management Strategies (RPMS).

"We are committing an additional $5.3 million over the next four years to controlling pests on public land and ensuring they don't spread to neighbouring private land," Land Information Minister David Parker and Conservation Minister Steve Chadwick said today.

"The Crown is a large landowner and this funding increase demonstrates the Labour-led government's continued commitment to sustainable land management and to remaining a good neighbour."

Steve Chadwick is in the Bay of Plenty today looking at two successful RPMS projects. The projects highlight the importance of controlling wild goats to protect indigenous and exotic forests, and reduce soil erosion. They also show the importance of effectively managing a fast growing wilding pine, pinus contorta, to maintain productive agricultural land.

"As part of Budget 2008, the Department of Conservation (DOC) will receive $3.6 million over four years, and Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) will receive $1.7 million over four years, and this allocation will then be ongoing," Steve Chadwick said.

DOC and LINZ currently invest about $3 million a year between them to support RPMS, and this new funding allows them to expand their work. These strategies are driven by regional councils, and allow communities to control local agricultural and environmental pests. "The particular priorities in each region will be negotiated between Crown agencies and councils, and will be guided by the RPMS."

DOC will consult with regional councils on where the additional work should occur. In addition to supporting RPMS, DOC also invests about $49 million annually to manage pests in high value conservation areas.

"We recognise that the spread of pests from public land is an important issue for neighbouring landowners and councils. As a major landowner, the Crown is committed to supporting regional pest control."

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