Park proposals opposed

Forest and Bird says a proposal to allow dogs in Westland Tai Poutini National Park breaches the National Parks Act and puts endangered kiwi at risk.

The draft national park management plan was released for public consultation over the weekend.

It includes a proposal to open up several walking tracks within the national park to dog owners, at the request of local residents.

However, Forest and Bird says kiwi could be present on some tracks.

''We think this proposal is unlawful. The National Parks Act prohibits dogs in national parks except for very limited purposes, such as guide dogs,'' Forest and Bird Canterbury West Coast manager Nicky Snoyink said.

The draft plan also includes a controversial 460ha amenity area, aimed at allowing future development of a gondola up the side of Franz Josef Glacier.

''This essentially removes a huge swath of native species habitat from the national park, for any number of developments we're yet to be given any specifics on. The plan doesn't tell the public what they are agreeing to, or the ecological values that could be lost,'' Ms Snoyink said.

''We'll be encouraging the public to submit against allowing such an erosion of our national park network.''

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