Out staff gave us a voucher for two nights at Awaroa Lodge for our 25th wedding anniversary.
It’s in Abel Tasman National Park and not somewhere you go by accident so it took us a while to redeem it but it was well worth the wait.
New Zealand is blessed with many areas of outstanding natural beauty and this is one of the gems – native bush, white sand, clear blue sea and, at least while we were there, sky to match.
The bay is in the news because two Christchurch men, Duane Major and Adam Gard’ner are crowdfunding through Givealittle to buy the privately owned beach and give it to the government.
Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says the beach will become part of the Abel Tasman National Park if the campaign to buy it succeeds.
“I have instructed Department of Conservation officials to formally talk to the campaigners about the legal details of making this beach a part of the Abel Tasman National Park,” Ms Barry says.
“This campaign has struck a deep vein of public support, with more than 11,000 backers so far, and it’s been encouraging to watch the Givealittle fund grow.
“I’m able to give an assurance that if it succeeds the land will be added to Abel Tasman National Park and free access secured for the public in perpetuity.”
“It is a testament to the deep and abiding love New Zealanders have for their natural heritage, and to see people raising money and wanting to be actively involved in what happens to our land is inspirational. I congratulate the organisers of the campaign and wish them all the best in their efforts.”
She also said:
The Department of Conservation had considered buying the land after it was offered to them before it was advertised, but decided it was too expensive, said Barry.
“The Government doesn’t have untold resources to buy beaches and pieces of bush. Every budget is under pressure.”
She said they did not want to drive prices up at this stage either.
“Sometimes people can see huge dollar signs. So our presence might be an encouragement to people to think the price of this property will go through the roof.”
However due to the “depth and extent” of public interest, Barry said her conservation officials were looking at helping out. . .
So far so very good but then along comes Andrew Little who said the government should step in now and provide the rest of the money.
To the credit of those behind the campaign that isn’t their preferred option:
. . . Mr Major said that though central government contribution would be welcome, he would rather see the money raised entirely by the public.
“People could raise it sooner, actually, and that speed with which we can raise that money will make a huge difference to how we arrange a tender, and arrange a whole bunch of things.
“That would be Plan A and always was Plan A – just reviving that get up and go spirit.” . .
Why is Labour’s default always taxpayers? Why isn’t he encouraging people to give, starting with his caucus, with taxpayers funding only a last resort?
Instead we have the stark difference – asking people to give voluntarily as those behind the campaign are and demanding we give compulsorily through our taxes as Little is.
Individuals and businesses giving a little with taxpayer top-up only if it’s needed is a far better way than Labour’s usual mode of taxpayers’ giving a lot.
P.S. I have put my money where my mouth is and donated.