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Integrated conservation policy the key: Labour

2000 web siteSpeaking at the 76th Annual General Meeting of the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society in Wellington, Labour spokesperson for conservation Jill Pettis said that Labour in government would take an integrated holistic approach to conservation.

"No issue stands alone in conservation. Protection of New Zealand's biodiversity is impossible without biosecurity. Biosecurity involves pest control to protect threatened habitat. Threatened habitats extend from native forests to the ocean, which brings us back to the protection of biodiversity.

"Most of New Zealand's native plants and animals are found only on these islands. We must protect our biodiversity before it is too late. For example, Labour has developed strategies to improve the conservation of wetlands and fresh water ecosystems to protect native fresh water fish and plant life. We will support Forest & Bird's initiative to create kiwi protection zones to ensure the survival of kiwi on the mainland.

"In biosecurity, I support mandatory off-shore decontamination and quarantine clearances of high risk imports such as used vehicles. There is a need for integrated biosecurity educational programmes to raise public and overseas visitors awareness of the importance of biosecurity.

"Integration of marine protection strategies is important also. Labour will review the Marine Reserves Act to widen the purposes of the Act to include biodiversity protection and recreation. We will review the interface between the Resource Management Act and the Fisheries Act to ensure that the impacts of fishing can be effectively managed by the Crown.

"I support the permanent protection of Crown owned native forests on the West Coast. I believe that we should protect the remnants of lowland rimu and beech forests that still exist on the West Coast. Lowland areas are poorly represented in the conservation estate" said Jill Pettis.

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