Correction: Conservation funding to be clarified

26 May 2016


Earlier today Forest & Bird released an analysis of Vote Conservation that showed what appeared to be a significant decrease in Department of Conservation funding in this year's budget. 

Our calculations were based on a valid and reasonable analysis of the official figures in budget documents released today. Our calculations also took into account the Government's statements that the $20 million funding for the Battle for our Birds was new spending in this budget.  

Consequent to our analysis, the Department of Conservation now advises Forest & Bird that:

  • Claimed new spending on Battle for our Birds has recently been allocated to the 2015/16 year rather than being new spending in this Budget for the coming 2016/17 year
  • Actual budget for 2015/16 was $355 million as opposed to a reported budget of $378million

*Actual budget for 2016/17 is $357 million as opposed to a reported budget of $345 million*

“New Zealand has nearly 800 species threatened with extinction and things are getting worse every year.  Very few species have a plan for their recovery.  The Department of Conservation already has insufficient funds to do its job so we will be putting questions to the Department to satisfy ourselves that there will not be cuts in real spending or staff this year," says Kevin Hackwell, Advocacy Manager for Forest & Bird.

"New Zealand’s native environment is under immense pressure from rats, possums, and stoats. Battle for our Birds is not currently base-line spending but an emergency top up for periodic crises that affect our forests." 

*Reported budget amounts are those reported in the Estimate of Appropriations Environment Sector 2016/17For further questions or comments, please contact:

Megan Hubscher
Senior Media & Communications Officer
022 658 1166

Kevin Hackwell
Advocacy Manager
021 227 8420