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In an effort to promote environmental sustainability, Princess Cruises has begun a fundraising campaign to protect New Zealand birds and create thriving populations.

Princess will be partnering with local conservation groups to protect the nesting grounds of the Kiwi and other iconic birds in the Bay of Islands through its Local Partnerships program. The company has already committed $100,000 to the project and has pledged to raise $1 million over the next five years to support conservation and culture. Funding will come by adults donating $2 via their onboard accounts.

There is a great deal of synergy between Princess Cruises and New Zealand and according to Stuart Allison, senior vice president, Asia Pacific, for the cruise line Princess takes more guests to the country than any other cruise line.

“Princess Local Partnerships is an extension of that deep relationship that already exists between the cruise line and its guests for communities across the Tasman,” he said. Princess adds that it seeks to establish a sense of connection between cruise travelers and the land they visit by asking them to contribute to its protection.

Kiwi Coast brings together more than 120-community led conservation projects across the Northland region including the efforts of Bay Bush Action, which focuses on returning native birds, including Kiwi and sea birds, to Opua State Forest. This forest sits next to Paihia, which is regarded as the gateway to Bay of Islands and a popular place for cruise ship visitors.

In addition to general conservation efforts, initial projects the fund will support include tree planting projects across streams, wetlands and forests in Northland around Waitangi, Kerikeri and the Northland region. Educating children through funding the development and publication of resources that can be used in conservation education across Northland, and supporting the rollout of a program that involves locally based conservationists visiting more than 30 schools in Northland to raise awareness of the importance of protecting the forests.

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