The Government must reverse savage cuts for the Department of Conservation, or risk more tracks being closed due to lack of money to maintain them, the Green Party said today.
A section of the Inland Pack Track in Paparoa National Park has been closed since April 2014, when Cyclone Ita brought down 380 beech trees, and has not been re-opened because there are no volunteers to do the work to clear them.
“Under this Government, DOC has endured job cuts and funding cuts. Now we’re seeing its core work in a national park cut as a result,” said Green Party conservation spokesperson Kevin Hague.
“Community conservation work is really valuable, but relying on volunteers to re-open a storm damaged track shows how cash-strapped the Department has become under this Government.
“The Inland Pack Track section needs $62,000 to re-open it, but DOC has been calling for volunteers to do the work. None have come forward,” Mr Hague said.
DOC’s operational funding was cut in the 2015 Budget by $8.7million.