Published 24 April 2009
Conservation Minister Tim Groser has announced changes to the boundary of the Oteake Conservation Park in Central Otago to exclude 195ha over the Hawkdun lignite deposit – “a significant resource of recoverable energy”.
The conservation park straddles the mountain ranges between the mid-Waitaki Valley & Central Otago.
Mr Groser said yesterday: "From its original 65,000ha, the park will now be 64,805ha. This is a very small change to the area of the park, but one of significant importance to the energy decisions of future generations.
"There are no immediate plans to mine the deposit, but there could be significant national benefits from the resource. Hawkdun could yield liquid fuels equivalent to New Zealand’s transport requirements for 15-20 years. The area over the deposit remains protected public conservation land adjoining the park. Any decisions on its future use are decisions for future generations."
The Hawkdun site has an informal Department of Conservation camping area. Public walking, mountain biking & 4-wheel-drive mountain touring tracks radiate out from the camping area into the conservation park. Mr Groser said surveying of the boundary had been completed and the park should be formally opened this summer.
Attribution: Ministerial release, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.