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National Committed To Saving Our National Icon

Prime Minister Jenny Shipley and Conservation Minister Nick Smith today announced National's commitment to establishing five new kiwi sanctuary zones on the mainland to ensure the survival of our national icon.

The commitment is a cornerstone of National's conservation and environment policy launched at a kiwi nursery at Arahura on the West Coast today.

"Kiwi numbers have collapsed from around 12 million a thousand years ago to less than 70,000 with loss of habitat and pest introduction. Without urgent action kiwi are likely to become extinct on the mainland by 2025.

"National will establish five extensive kiwi sanctuary zones in Haast, Okarito, Taranaki, Coromandel and Northland. The zones will be the target for intensive predator control, research and monitoring and public education," Mrs Shipley said.

The facility visited by Mrs Shipley and Dr Smith today specialises in hatching and rearing of Okarito Brown Kiwi

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