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Sandra Lee's Good Intentions Were Not Enough

Tuesday 18 Jun 2002

Despite Sandra Lee's good intentions, her contribution to the recovery of the Kiwi has been blighted by her failure to engage private landowners in management of indigenous wildlife.

"Private landowners hold the key to the ultimate survival of the kiwi through the use of "Significant Natural Areas" (SNAs) on private land.

"The Minister of Conservation's attitude to private stewardship has been one of the major impediments to the recovery of kiwi numbers. The Government monopoly has failed to deliver. Until the Government fully engages private landowners in the "Kiwi Recovery Programme" their efforts will amount to no more than window dressing.

"Over $340m has been allocated in the budget for back country huts and tracks. How is this a priority? The money would be better spent on predator fencing of SNAs instead of political pandering.

"Propagation of native plants by private companies has resulted in a flourishing trade in native plants. There is no reason to suppose that such a trade in wildlife would not be equally successful.

"The survival of wildlife should never be about ideology," Gerry Eckhoff said.

Ends

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