Fiordland boosts NZ economy

A new study published by New Zealand’s conservation minister has found that Fiordland National Park added an estimated $228m (£80m approx) to the national economy last year.The park, located at the tip of the South Island, boasts towering, snow-capped peaks with blue fingers of ocean that reach into the park’s thickly forested interior.

For sheer drama, few places of earth can compete with this remarkable natural environment. At 1.26m hectares, Fiordland National Park makes up 15% of all public conservation land in New Zealand, is home to 700 species of plant found nowhere else, and is one of its wildest and most diverse natural areas.

The study was commissioned by the Department of Conservation as part of a series of studies into the economic contribution of major conservation areas. The park receives 560,000 day visitors, and 33,000 overnight visitors a year, 80% of whom are from abroad. As a result of the park, an extra $NZ196m (£68m approx) was spent in the surrounding region in 2005. Around a third of New Zealand’s landscape has conservation status.