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Doc Wakes Up To The Benefits Of Kiwi Farming

Tuesday 28 May 2002

ACT Conservation Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff said today he understood that the Department of Conservation had entered into an agreement to commercially `graze' kiwis in a similar manner to that which he has been suggesting for over a year.

"My information is that a private land owner who has a predator-proofed area of land has agreed to `graze' kiwi chicks, hatched by DoC, until they are six months old, in preparation for their release into the wild. The agreement between DoC and the landowner allows for special payments to the property owner in recognition of the costs involved in building a predator fence.

"So, DoC is farming the kiwi! A concept, that just 15 months ago, when I proposed it was greeted with howls of derision from Government Ministers. It appears that DoC is belatedly, but welcomely, seeing the benefit of placing a monetary value on breeding success. I hope the Ministers who were quick to pour scorn on my raising of the idea in the first place are taking note.

"ACT New Zealand applauds this innovative and forward thinking policy from DoC. They are raising kiwi chicks just as a farmer raises chickens, lambs or calves. The chicks will of course not end up on the menu. Very few stud stock ever do suffer this fate; they are just too valuable! These little guys will be released into the wild once they able to defend themselves against predation." Mr Eckhoff said.

"It has taken a little while for people to come around to my way of thinking, but I guess good things just take time," Mr Eckhoff said.


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