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DOC’s Priorities Need Scrutinising

Media Release
8 December 2003

DOC’s Priorities Need Scrutinising

New Zealand First conservation spokesperson, Edwin Perry, is calling on the Department of Conservation to re-examine its priorities following publication of the third annual report on progress on New Zealand’s Biodiversity.

“The news that many of our native birds, insects and plants are losing the battle against extinction should be of great concern to all New Zealanders,” said Mr Perry.

“DoC is busily extending its empire in the South Island and acquiring more land which will soak up public funds. The conservation of wildlife seems to have taken something of a back seat and an urgent review of priorities is called for.

“The kiwi is under threat and has been for some time. We recently asked the Minister what plans DoC has to ensure that kiwi increase in number over the next five years and what the anticipated funding levels were to achieve this figure.

“The response was that currently $3 million is spent on kiwi recovery work per annum but future funding levels have not been determined and are awaiting the results from the kiwi sanctuaries on the best pest control regimes.

“However the effectiveness of the sanctuaries is not due to be reviewed until after 2005 and the findings of any such review may not be immediately acted upon. This puts action on the problem of the disappearing kiwi even further down the track.

“With the kiwi will go many other threatened species, such as the käkäriki, that are also the victims of predators. It is time for DoC to get its priorities right and ensure the future of New Zealand’s native species before acquiring more land,” said Mr Perry.


ENDS

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