Today (15 December 2012) the Minister of Conservation, the Honourable Kate Wilkinson will oversee the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Conservation and Conservation Volunteers New Zealand (CVNZ).
At a tree- planting ceremony on Saturday at the Punakaiki Coastal Restoration Project site, on the Barrytown flats, the Minister will welcome the agreement between the two organisations, saying that the MOU will provide the opportunity to explore options for further community involvement in the protection of New Zealand's unique environment here on the West Coast as well as on other locations across the country. Conservation Volunteers has considerable experience in facilitating, and managing, broad community participation in conservation activities, and The Department looks forward to working with CVNZ to expand the community's contribution to conservation
National Manager for CVNZ, Ian Smith, also welcomes the new agreement and notes that "our organisation has supported numerous DOC projects across New Zealand, and most especially on the West Coast. We welcome the opportunity to work more closely with the Department in developing new initiatives and programmes to provide more opportunities for New Zealanders to participate in practical conservation activities. On the West Coast, we look forward to working with DOC, local government, corporates, and the community to ensure a green and sustainable future for the region"
The Punakaiki Coastal Restoration Project is now in the fifth and final year of the original partnership agreement between DOC, CVNZ and Rio Tinto Ltd. This model government, community and corporate project looks set to move into a new phase in 2013, with the involvement of Lincoln University, and the proposed development of eco-tourism facilities.