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NZ to press IWC for 'yes' vote for whales

30 June 2000 Media Statement
Conservation Minister leaves NZ determined to press IWC for 'yes' vote on South Pacific whale sanctuary

Conservation Minister Sandra Lee leaves New Zealand today (eds; 4pm ex Wellington) determined to press hard for a South Pacific whale sanctuary 'yes' vote at next week's Adelaide meeting of the International Whaling Commission.

Ms Lee and her Australian counterpart, Environment and Heritage Minister Senator Robert Hill, are expected to formally propose the establishment of the South Pacific whale sanctuary on the second day of the meeting, next Tuesday.

She is leading the country's largest-ever delegation to an IWC meeting, of seven people including New Zealand's IWC Commissioner Jim McLay, Waikato University scientist Professor Al Gillespie, and senior officials from the Department of Conservation, Te Puni Kokiri and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

All official delegates apart from the Conservation Minister are already in Adelaide where lobbying of uncommitted delegations by supporters and opponents of the sanctuary proposal is reported to be "intense". The proposal requires the support of three-quarters of voting delegates who may vote either 'yes' or 'no' or abstain.

The Conservation Minister will be accompanied to Adelaide today by 16-year old Youth Parliamentarian Marama Karetai from Waiheke Island in Auckland (separate release attached) and a private secretary, while the Department of Conservation's Tumuaki (protocol manager) will follow tomorrow.


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