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Conservation funding trimmed in budget

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 26/05/2016

CONSERVATION CUTS, BUT MORE FOR WATER AND WEEDS

DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION

* budget cut from $472m to $430m

WATER

* A new $100m Freshwater Improvement Fund (spread over 10 years) which groups can apply for to help improve their water

* The government says it's on top of $354m already committed to projects since 2000, such as Lake Taupo and the Waikato, Waipa and Manawatu rivers

* Priority will be given to projects that have already drummed up cash

"We are showing that with government funding and strong community partnerships we can improve freshwater quality." - Environment Minister Nick Smith

WEEDS

* $16m (over four years) for eradicating wilding pines

The money will be used to try and knock out wilding conifers in the likes of Molesworth Station, the Southern Alps, the Wakatipu Basin and the volcanic Central Plateau.

"Wildings are the most significant weed problem New Zealand faces - and the number one targets of the War on Weeds." - Conservation Minister Maggie Barry.

POLLUTERS

* Phasing out over three years the Emissions Trading Scheme subsidy, which saw businesses get a two-for-one deal for emissions units.

Estimated to raise $356m over four years, based on a $12 unit price.

"It is time for businesses to move towards paying the market price of their emissions." - Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett.

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