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Intervention by Hon Steve Chadwick

Intervention by Hon Steve Chadwick Minister of Conservation

As New Zealand’s Minister of Conservation I am honoured to speak at this historic meeting of the IWC where the organisation is deciding to forge a better future for itself and for the whales.

I would like to thank the Chair for your hard work done in the preparation of this document. I would also like to thank Chile for their hosting of this meeting.

New Zealand ‘s views are well known. New Zealand is a staunch advocate for the conservation of whales. We support the moratorium on commercial whaling. We wish to see the end of special permit whaling.

New Zealand is also a strong supporter of the diplomatic approach to solving the problems of the IWC. This meeting has taken a big step forward by setting up a diplomatic process to address those problems. We hope it works and we make a full commitment to the process. But it will not be easy.

Two messages came from the London meeting in March. The first was that diplomatic methods had to introduced into the working culture of the IWC. New Zealand believes that has been accomplished in the first of the documents that have been tabled.

The second message was that we had to find a process designed to bridge the gaps between the sovereign nations that make up this Convention. We believe that has also been accomplished in the document setting up the Terms of Reference for the Small Working Group.

Success is not assured. The task ahead is formidable. In New Zealand 92 per cent of people oppose commercial whaling. That is a political reality.

But New Zealand pledges itself to be an active particpant in this process in the hope that some agreement on the substance of the issues that divide the nations represented here can be found.

Ends

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