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A new survey indicates that South Islanders are twice as likely to visit a national park as their North Island counterparts.
With the Department of Conservation (DOC) asking New Zealanders to ‘Show your country you love it’ during Conservation Week (September 12 – 19), the survey(1) reveals:
Barbara Browne, DOC’s General Manager Operations for the North Island, said the figures were both encouraging and revealing.
“It’s fantastic that one in three people on the Mainland headed to a national park last year – it shows that public conservation land really counts in the daily lives of those living in the South Island,” she said.
“So are North Islanders less interested in the places that make New Zealand so special? I don’t think so - I think with only four of New Zealand’s 14 National Parks north of Cook Strait, North Islanders are simply less able to access the National Park experience.
“That’s why we are working hard to create more recreation opportunities closer to our biggest population centres.”
“We know Aucklanders value the special places close to their city – more than 300 000 people visit the Goat Island Marine Reserve a year – we’re encouraging them to get out as often as they can to enjoy the wonderful conservation opportunities on offer.”
Conservation Week annually encourages New Zealanders to take advantage of the natural wonders that New Zealand has to offer – and to get involved.
“When you ask New Zealanders what they love about their country, other than the All Blacks on a good day, they’ll almost always talk about the mountains, the forest, the bush, the beaches and the birds. We’re blessed with beauty in this country, but it doesn’t take care of itself,” said Barbara.
“DOC and many others are working day and night to protect and preserve the things that make New Zealand unique, and during Conservation Week we’re asking people to show their love and take part!”