Five new pristine areas of forest and coastline totalling 897 hectares has today been added to the Kahurangi National Park, Nelson MP and Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith says.
“These five significant areas belong in the Kahurangi National Park and add to its splendour and integrity. This is unfinished business from when I advocated for the park’s creation in the 1990s. These areas were considered then but were not able to be included because of their ownership status, being subject to mining permits or been insufficiently investigated.”
These five additions are:
• 204ha west of Pakawau on the south-east of Whanganui Inlet opposite the outlet to the Tasman Sea, an area renowned for being one of New Zealand’s most pristine coastal harbours.
• 330ha of wild coastal land at Big River, completing the protected status from the mountains to the sea surrounding Kahurangi Point.
• 68ha of a coastal area known as Harwood Block, south of Kahurangi Point, completing the full protection of the coastal area from Kohaihai to Kahurangi Point.
• 246ha of inland forest just west of Collingwood, known as West Burnett, surrounded by the Kahurangi National Park, with high-value virgin forest and regionally rare species.
• 49ha of highland bush adjacent to the Cobb Dam, surrounded by the Kahurangi National Park, known as the Steatite Block.
“The first of these areas have been progressively purchased from their private owners by the Government through the Nature Heritage Fund. The last two areas were owned by the Government when the park investigation began but were not included because of potential mining issues. The mining permit on the Steatite Block was surrendered in 2014.
“All five areas were recommended for addition to the national park by the Nelson-Marlborough Conservation Board and the New Zealand Conservation Authority, after consultation with local iwi. The Governor-General approved the decision on 20 June 2016.
“The Kahurangi National Park is New Zealand’s second largest and is renowned for its diversity. There is not a park anywhere in the world that has all the features of Kahurangi, with its wild coastlines, stunning estuaries, massive limestone escarpments, snowy mountains, tussock downs, huge river rapids, pure springs and deep caves. These are the most significant additions to the park since it was established 20 years ago and add to its special character,” Dr Smith says.