A consortium representing over 30,000 trampers, hunters, mountaineers and mountain bikers welcomed Minister of Conservation Dr Nick Smith’s announcement this evening of major funding to assist its volunteers maintain backcountry huts, tracks and facilities.
Speaking on behalf of the NZ Outdoor Recreation Consortium, which comprises the Federated Mountain Clubs (FMC), the NZ Deerstalkers’ Association (NZDA) and Trail Fund NZ, NZDA president Bill O’Leary said the $700,000 grant awarded today from the Community Conservation Partnerships Fund would be augmented by donations and volunteer work to the value of at least $156,000 by members of the consortium and other groups.
“This grant will kick-start practical, on-the-ground projects to maintain and restore our outdoor heritage,” said Mr O’Leary. “It will assist track cutting, and help maintain, build and repair backcountry huts. It will encourage more people to enjoy our natural environment.”
Mr O’Leary joined with FMC president Robin McNeill and Trail Fund NZ chairperson Ben Wilde in praising DOC’s community partnership approach to work on conservation and recreation projects.
“This is a game-changing approach that allows backcountry users get involved with looking after the facilities they enjoy using and their volunteer effort means that more work can get done than DOC could manage alone.”
The Community Conservation Partnerships Fund – Pūtea Tautiaki Hapori provides funding to community-led conservation groups for natural heritage and recreation projects in New Zealand on public and private land and waters.
About the NZ Outdoor Recreation Consortium
The NZ Outdoor Recreation Consortium was formed in 2014 as a partnership between FMC, NZDA and Trail Fund NZ to maintain and enhance back-country facilities and attract a wider range of users to enjoy and look after these special places. The Consortium will work on behalf of a wide range of user groups in the outdoors to manage and distribute the funding for the benefit of all who enjoy the New Zealand backcountry.
For more information:
Robin McNeill, President Federated Mountain Clubs of New Zealand
Mobile: (021) 516 366