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DOC's Priorities A Mystery Says Perry

Media Release
7 September 2004

Doc's Priorities A Mystery Says Perry

New Zealand First conservation spokesman Edwin Perry says that once again members of the public are doing work for which the Department of Conservation receives taxpayer funding.

“The news that yet another kiwi population is in peril in the Puketi and Omahuta Forests in Northland will come as no surprise to conservationists. In September 2000 the Department of Conservation monitored 45 sites for kiwi calls in these forests and estimated that the total population was 563 birds.

“In June and July this year the Puketi Forest Trust conducted a smaller survey and estimated that the number of birds heard was down 35.5 percent compared to 2000.

“The Puketi Forest Trust is trapping for predators and has raised enough money to pay for about a year of predator control. As is the case with many conservation projects throughout the country, much of the work is being done by volunteers and trust members.

“In the meantime the Department of Conservation, with its strange set of priorities, is buying up more of the South Island - 8,517 hectares last month for $3.5 million.

“The Minister does not appear to find anything incongruous about his department ignoring its most basic conservation obligations at one end of the country and splurging taxpayer funds at the other,” said Mr Perry.

ENDS

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