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State Not Stoats Puts Kiwi On-Track for Extinction

State, Not Stoats, Keeps Kiwi On-Track for Extinction

Tuesday 29 Jan 2002 Gerry Eckhoff Press Releases -- Environment & Conservation )

ACT Conservation spokesman Gerry Eckhoff welcomes Kiwi Recovery Group Coordinator, Paul Jansen's announcement that DoC means to save New Zealand's national icon from extinction.

"Their former policy of breeding and releasing kiwi chicks into the wild merely kept predators well fed.

"Five new sanctuaries are to be created with new funding. This is excellent news. Now, it seems, even DoC is ready to 'farm' the kiwi in safe habitat enclosures, something ACT has been advocating.

"What is not so encouraging is that the State shows no sign of releasing its monopolistic death grip on kiwi breeding programmes. Opening up the management of recovery programmes to dedicated individuals and groups outside DoC control would soon turn those five sanctuaries into 50.

"There is abundant goodwill, world leading expertise and plentiful investment dollars ready to come to the aid of our kiwi - if only DoC would share its heavy responsibility with others.

"It is no good blaming the stoats for killing our kiwi chicks when state selfishness and lack of trust shuts the door on innovation and opportunity.

"The DoC Bat Recovery Team in a fit of self-righteous moral outrage further endangered the New Zealand Short-tailed bat by declining funding for their programme because, they said, the fund provider (a coffin manufacturer) was inappropriate. They did not explain this value-laden decision.

"It is time DoC stopped imposing their political agenda and values on an unsuspecting public. After all the taxpayer is footing the bill only because no one else is allowed to join in. There are many landowners with safe habitat available now who are prevented from contributing because of the Government's monopoly over wildlife ownership," Gerry Eckhoff said.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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