Conservation Minister Blows Millions On Race-Based Conservation

New Zealand First wants to know why the $7.9m Ngā Whenua Rahui scheme for Māori Land has only protected 87 hectares in the year to 20 March.

 

“In the past three years, the Minister of Conservation has frittered away up to $17.6m of precious Conservation dollars and all she has to show for it is 956.4 hectares and poppycock like: “owners retaining tino rangatiratanga. In its kaupapa and role Ngā Whenua Rāhui is reaffirming the bond between tangata whenua and the land”, says Mr Peters.

“Budget 2016 actually increased Ngā Whenua Rahui funding to $7.9m and it’s only protected 87 hectares so far this year – an area not much larger than Auckland’s Botanic Gardens. 

“This race-based largesse cost taxpayers $7,389 a hectare in 2014/15 but rose to $30,633 in 2015/16.  The current budget means each hectare of Ngā Whenua Rāhui land, which DoC is taking from more worthy programmes, is costing taxpayers an eye watering $92,000. 

“In complete contrast is the QEII National Trust.  Over the same timeframe it has protected 60,779 hectares or an area larger than Abel Tasman and Egmont National Parks combined.

“While it includes a large covenant several years ago, it does a whole lot more for a whole lost less. The QEII National Trust has protected over 2,600 hectares this year versus Ngā Whenua Rahui’s pathetic 87 hectares and for a little over half of that scheme’s cost. 

“For heaven’s sake protecting biodiversity is a colour blind thing.  National needs to stop frittering away precious Conservation dollars on ‘broacracy’ like Ngā Whenua Rahui and put it into programmes that do work,” Mr Peters said.

 

 

 

Nga Whenua Rahui agreements since 2014/15 (Hectares)

 

Financial Year and District

Hectares

2014-2015

 

Chatham Islands

43

Hastings District

29

Otorohanga District

207

Ruapehu District

134

Waitomo District

4

Wanganui District

6.5

Western Bay of Plenty District

185.5

Sub Total

609

2015-2016

 

Central Hawke's Bay District

26

Christchurch City

73

Gisborne District

17

Matamata-Piako District

19

Ruapehu District

113

Western Bay of Plenty District

6.4

Whangarei District

6

Sub Total

260.4

2016-2017 (To date)

 

Gisborne District

3

Hauraki District

11

Otorohanga District

73

Sub Total

87

Overall Total

956.4