Creative accounting can’t hide DOC budget cuts

National needs to admit it has cut funding to the Department of Conservation (DOC), rather than spin the facts and hide from its decision to claw back core conservation funding, the Green Party said today.

National needs to admit it has cut funding to the Department of Conservation (DOC), rather than spin the facts and hide from its decision to claw back core conservation funding, the Green Party said today.

 

These comments come following independent analysis by Dr Carolyn Cordery of Victoria University Wellington, validating analysis by the Green Party and others that showed funding for the Department of Conservation had been cut by $40 million dollar in this year’s Budget.

 

"It doesn't matter how you spin it, a $40 million cut is a $40 million cut," said Green Party conservation spokesperson Kevin Hague.

 

“Creative accounting won’t do anything to save our endangered species.

 

“National needs to own up to its decision to retreat from core conservation to protect at-risk species, keep our huts and tracks up to scratch, and ensure that bridges and viewing platforms are safe.

 

“Transferring funding from previous years is not actually an increase in funding for DOC because the specific work the money was for also gets carried forward. It is simply a cut to funding in previous years. New Zealand’s threatened species, our degraded tracks bridges and huts remain no better off.

 

“In real terms DOC’s spending has been $55 million less, on average, than it was in 2008-09.

 

“National needs to stop making excuses. The situation for our endangered Kea won’t get better with more spin.

 

“We can fund DOC properly and give our native species the chance to thrive. It won’t cost the world, but will require us all to recognise that underfunding work to protect at-risks species and maintain our tracks and huts will cost us all in the long term,” said Mr Hague.

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