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News still bad for kiwi

The National Party's announcement that they would establish a small number of kiwi protection reserves is a step in the right direction, but won't stop the extinction of kiwi in the vast majority of its habitat, say the Greens.

"National would save a few small pockets of kiwi around the country, but they would be little more than museum pieces, at the best they would be gene banks for a future recovery of the species," said Green Party Co-Leader Rod Donald.

"National's plan is still a recipe for extinction in the wild. The current population of 55,000 kiwis on the mainland would crash to maybe a couple of thousand in the next few decades.

"It really confirms that if you want to save the kiwi in the wild, you must vote Green at the election.

"The Green Party would fully implement the plan developed by the Forest and Bird Protection Society to protect the kiwi, with predator control over large areas of prime kiwi habitat. This would cost $10 million a year compared to around $21/2 million for National's plan, but it would be money well spent to save our national icon.

"Perhaps the one real bright point from National's policy is the plan for a new reserve to protect the Haast kiwi. We're very pleased that after the Greens drew attention to the plight of the Haast kiwi in June, it seems they will be protected regardless of who forms a government next month," Rod Donald said.

ends

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