An accord committing the Department of Conservation to maintaining the gains made by a privately backed environmental group has been signed in Nelson today.

The agreement with the $100 million Next Foundation, which was launched in Auckland earlier this month, was signed by Conservation Minister Nick Smith.

Dr Smith said the foundation had the potential to deliver "huge steps forward for conservation in New Zealand".

The accord will ensure the foundation's funds go to new projects beyond the work DoC would ordinarily do. It also commits DoC to maintaining any conservation gains made by the projects.


Dr Smith said the accord built on the Project Janszoon pest and weed eradication programme funded by the Next Foundation's backers, Neal and Annette Plowman.

"We have shown what is possible in the Abel Tasman National Park through that project and now want to formalise the partnership to enable other game-changing conservation initiatives around the country.

"This accord with the Next Foundation is part of DoC's new direction of partnering with businesses and community groups to protect New Zealand's special places and species for future generations."