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Oral Questions July 22 - PQ 11 Transcript

11. Native Birds—Conservation Initiatives

11. PAUL FOSTER-BELL (National) to the Minister of Conservation : What new initiatives has the Government taken in the Rimutakas and other areas to help the recovery of endangered native bird populations?

Hon Dr NICK SMITH (Minister of Conservation): Last Friday, with the strong encouragement of Chris Bishop, the local National candidate, I announced a new conservation partnership with the Rimutaka Forest Park Charitable Trust for the recovery of the North Island brown kiwi. The initiative is particularly special because it will enable a vibrant population of kiwi over 7,000 hectares of forest, in close proximity to the capital and a large urban population. I am advised that without such initiatives, kiwi populations in the wild will go the way of the moa.

Paul Foster-Bell : Is the Minister considering reintroduction of moa to the Rimutaka Forest, as suggested by a local MP; if not, why not?

Hon Dr NICK SMITH : No. National’s focus is on practical conservation initiatives, rather than pipedreams. But I do note that kiwi and moa are from the same ancient descendants of the family of birds, and we could call this the mini-moa programme. I also note that the more distant relative of the kiwi and the moa, the mallard, is becoming increasingly endangered in the Rimutakas, but there is little support for a local recovery programme, and I am advised that it is likely to become extinct in late September.

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