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No Give from Government on Arapawa Goats

Gordon Copeland Press Release
For Immediate Release
Thursday 29th May 2008

No Give from Government on Arapawa Goats

Independent MP Gordon Copeland today expressed his deep disappointed that the Minister of Conservation has, once again, ruled out the possibility of the Arapawa goat herd being allowed to remain on conservation land. He was responding to a letter received this week from Minister, Steve Chadwick.

“This letter does not follow through on the tenor of the discussions which I held with the Minister on 9 April 2008,” said Mr Copeland.

“At that stage the Minister indicated her willingness to work with the Minister of Agriculture Jim Anderton, who has a portfolio responsibility for rare breeds, with a view of developing a ‘whole of Government’ solution to the ongoing national and international controversy concerning the preservation of this unique breed of beautiful goats.”

“The inflexibility now displayed by the Minister is simply incomprehensible. It is possible that the Arapawa goats have descended directly from a breeding pair left on the island by Captain James Cook. They are therefore a beautiful part of New Zealand’s natural history.

“In these circumstances I am baffled at the intransitence which has been shown by the Department of Conservation around this issue. Indeed I believe their attitude is actually contrary to the Conservation Act itself which defines ‘conservation’ as ‘the preservation and protection of natural and historic resources for the purpose of maintaining their intrinsic values, providing for their appreciation and recreational enjoyment by the public, and safe guarding the options of future generations.’ “.

“They seem to disregard entirely the reality that this breed of goats is a natural and historic resource worthy of protecting and safe guarding for future generations. I find this attitude both arrogant and ignorant in the extreme.

“It is also deeply disappointing that the Minister has chosen to convey her decision to me in such blunt terms just eight days after the death of Betty Rowe who devoted some 30 years of her life to providing a sanctuary for these goats. The simple fact of the matter is that there is plenty of room within the DoC estate on Arapawa Island both to safe guard this breed of goats for future generations and to preserve the biodiversity of the regenerating flora which, in any event, is completely fenced off from the grazing area of the goats.”


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