Mt Hutt Ski Area in Canterbury
The largest public park in more than 20 years has been created in Hakatere Conservation Park, Conservation Minister Chris Carter said.
The 68,000ha park in the Ashburton Lakes area brought together 19 separate areas of conservation land, and also included historic Hakatere Station on the shores of Lake Clearwater, Mr Carter said.
"This huge new park is a special place, a landscape of clear streams and red tussock, of braided rivers, wetlands and alpine habitat where a host of rare native species can be found."
It provided 'almost endless' recreation opportunities including water skiing, sailing, trout fishing and tramping.
Much of the lakeshore would be preserved for the public for all time, he said.
Mt Hutt and Mt Potts skifields were within the parks' boundary.
Mr Carter said the owners of Hakatere Station had recognised the conservation values of their land in choosing to sell it into public ownership.
Under its support agreement with Labour, the Green Party had chosen Ashburton Lakes and the upper Rangitata River as one of three sites to receive funding for restoration of wetlands.
Green conservation spokeswoman Metiria Turei said the park's premium braided river habitats were outstanding examples of fresh water ecology.
The Upper Rangitata was one of the few braided river habitats left in New Zealand which was largely free of invasive weeds.
Under a budget bid secured by the Greens, funding for the park's management had increased tenfold, she said.