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Minister of Conservation Kate Wilkinson has praised the generosity of a private family trust which has launched a multi-million dollar conservation project in Abel Tasman National Park. Project Janszoon is a partnership between the Department of Conservation and the Project Janszoon Trust. It aims to restore biodiversity - essentially the variety of plant and animal life - to around 80 per cent of the park over the next 30 years. “Our indigenous flora and fauna are a major part of New Zealand’s culture and heritage,” Ms Wilkinson says. “Though the Government is committed to protecting these native species it is important to understand that conservation is not just the domain of the Department – it is everyone’s responsibility.” “Here we see community leading the way and I wish to congratulate the Trust for instigating this very valuable initiative.” Project Janszoon includes planting programmes, pest control, education initiatives and wildlife recovery programmes. It will see the return of native species no longer found in the park such as great spotted kiwi, mohua (yellow head) and sooty shearwater. Despite being New Zealand’s smallest national park, the Abel Tasman National Park is one of the most visited. “Tourism operators have already contributed much to conservation work in the park and this initiative will build on that,” Ms Wilkinson says. “The restoration of the park’s natural values and the return of native wildlife to the area will provide an even greater visitor experience.” “With the support of the public, private trusts and a growing number of New Zealand businesses, we will succeed in achieving sustainable conservation goals throughout the country.” Media contact: Britton Broun – 04 817 8266 or 021 244 9354 Background: • The Project Janszoon Trust is aiming to restore the biodiversity of the park by 2042 in time for the park’s 100th anniversary, and the 400th anniversary of Abel Tasman’s visit to the area. • It was selected by the Trust as an ideal project site to demonstrate a sustained restoration partnership effort. • The philanthropic New Zealand family, whose financial support is launching Project Janszoon, wishes to remain anonymous.