897 hectares added to national park

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Five new areas of forest and coastline totalling 897 hectares have been added to the Kahurangi National Park today.

The addition to New Zealand’s second biggest national park is the most significant since the park was established 20 years ago.

The first of these areas were 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.

Nelson MP and Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith says the five areas belong in the national park.

“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.”

The five additions include:

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.