DOC has received the biggest funding boost in 16 years in the just-released government budget, but those hoping for more funding for huts and tracks will be disappointed.
DOC will get an extra $181.62m in funding over the next four years, making an overall 11.5 per cent increase to the department’s forecast budget. Over the next four years, its funding will increase from $376m to $453m.
The bulk of it will go to predator control ($81.28m) and a contingency fund for biodiversity initiatives ($76m). A further $16.2m will fund ‘organisational capacity and capability’, $5.5m for managing visitors and $2.6m for enhancing biodiversity in the Mackenzie Basin. However, funding to fight kauri dieback remains static.
Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage said the funding will turn around the biodiversity crisis.
“Our plan backs nature,” Sage said. “We will better protect our native birds and other animals so we can once again see species thriving in their natural habitats.”