The Green Party is calling on the National Government to use Conservation Week to restore funding to the Department of Conservation (DOC) after seven years of cuts, the Green Party said today.
The Green Party challenged the Conservation Minister in the House today to accept that, when adjusted for inflation, Vote Conservation had been cut by $424 million over the last eight years.
“DOC has received, on average, $53 million less per year under National than it did in the last year of the last Labour-led Government,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.
“The National Government likes to spin the line that it’s spending more on conservation than ever before, but in real terms DOC’s funding has been cut.
“DOC has had to lay off rangers as a result of funding cuts pushing 142 species closer to extinction.
“National's spin won't save the kea, the Antipodes wandering albatross, or the Flesh-footed shearwater – all of which have moved closer to extinction under this Government’s watch.
“New Zealanders want DOC to have the resources to protect our unique native species, and to maintain the national parks, tracks, and huts that we love.
“National’s budget cuts are putting this all at risk," said Mr Shaw.