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New Zealand Pushes For Tight Whaling Rules

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Media Statement

7 February 2001


Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff says that a special meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in Monaco to draw up rules for commercial whaling must not send a message that the current moratorium on whaling should be lifted.

"New Zealand is fundamentally opposed to any softening of the moratorium on commercial whaling and will continue to work strongly for a South Pacific whale sanctuary.

"That it is participating in the Monaco conference is solely for the purpose of ensuring that any rules promulgated by the conference are as comprehensive and conservationist as possible. These rules are a backstop should the IWC ever change its stance to lift the moratorium.

"The Revised Management Scheme (RMS), as it is known, has been under discussion for a number of years. It presupposes a sustainable stock of whales is available to be caught commercially which we do not consider exists" said Mr Goff.

The New Zealand team at the meeting is headed by our Commissioner to the IWC, Jim McLay and he is supported by two scientists and a legal adviser.

Conservation Minister Sandra Lee will be leading the New Zealand delegation to the IWC meeting in England later this year to keep up the pressure for a South Pacific whale sanctuary.


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