Minister launches Millennium ForestInternal Affairs
The Minister of Internal Affairs Mark Burton has today launched New Zealand's most significant and enduring millennium commemoration.
The Millennium Kauri Forest is being established on former farmland adjoining the Waipoua Forest in Northland.
The Minister, who has responsibility for the Millennium Office, today handed over a $1.4 million Lottery Grant along with a gift of land title to the Chairman of the Waipoua Forest Trust Alex Nathan.
"The project is an inspirational concept," Mr Burton said, "which comes at a time when the world’s rainforests are increasingly at risk.
"The Forest is for benefit of current and future generations of New Zealanders. It will have guaranteed public access and will remain in public ownership for perpetuity.
"This project will also help protect the Waipoua Forest which is of national and international ecological significance. Not only is Waipoua the largest remaining kauri forest in the country, it is also home to the largest population of North Island Brown Kiwi. This new forest will, of course, provide an additional habitat for our threatened national emblem.
"The Millennium Forest will be created through hands-on participation particularly by youth groups and local iwi.
"Kauri live for a thousand years – which takes us through to the next millennium in 3000. There could be no more tangible, enduring statement of respect for our rich and distinctive natural heritage," Mr Burton said.