Enjoy the outdoors this Conservation Week

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Conservation Week 2016 begins on Saturday and is an opportunity for New Zealanders to enjoy the outdoors and discover our natural heritage, Conservation Ministers Maggie Barry and Nicky Wagner say.

“This year’s theme is again focused on Healthy Nature, Healthy People, and it’s all about the health and wellbeing benefits we get from the natural world,” Ms Barry says.

“DOC are encouraging everyone to ‘join the team’ this week – helping out with conservation efforts, connecting with our special places and contributing to Predator Free 2050, Battle for Our Birds 2016, the War on Weeds and other vital programmes.”

More than 130 events are planned across the week, including five national competitions, guided walks and working bees.

There’s even a chance to sample invasive species or try a gorse flower ice cream at the DOC “Pest Feast” at Wellington’s harbourside market.

“Conservation week is about getting out and having fun. It gives us a chance to celebrate our wonderful natural environment. Kids who are connected to nature will want to enjoy it now and preserve it for the future,” Ms Wagner says.

Recent findings from the 2016 DOC Survey of New Zealanders show 85 per cent of people feel connected to our nature in a way that improves their lives.

56 per cent said they had done something for conservation in the past year and almost a third of those feel it improves their physical health and helps them unwind and relax.

Healthy Nature, Healthy People is a programme across DOC and supported by the Mental Health Foundation to promote the health benefits of getting involved in conservation, whether by visiting conservation land for recreation or helping out with a volunteer group.

For more information on Conservation Week, Healthy Nature Healthy People and a list of events in your area visit: www.doc.govt.nz/news/events/conservation-week/

Media contact: Alex Fensome (Minister Barry) 027 2772 313

                          Josh Hercus (Minister Wagner) 021 949 165