17 August, 2005
Renowned conservationist Kevin Smith has died
Renowned conservationist Kevin Smith died suddenly last night while cycling in Wellington with his daughter Rachel, Conservation Minister Chris Carter said today.
"Conservationists across New Zealand will be deeply distressed by this sad news," Mr Carter said.
"Kevin Smith was a special New Zealander, a larger than life character whose courage, tenacity and commitment were deeply admired by the many thousands of people involved in trying to preserve our nation's natural heritage.
"Kevin was at the centre of most of the major conservation developments in New Zealand over the past thirty years, from his early days campaigning for the protection of South Westland's native forests, to his extraordinary tenure at Forest & Bird from 1984 to 2000, 11 years of which were spent as conservation director.
"For the past six years, Kevin served as a senior advisor to me, and the previous Minister of Conservation Sandra Lee. He was outstanding in this role, and much of the progress that has been made in conservation in recent years is due in no small part to his efforts," Mr Carter said.
"I want to extend my deepest sympathies to his partner Tania and the rest of his whanau, and to all those lucky enough to call him a friend. He will be greatly missed, but his legacy is writ large on the landscape of New Zealand."