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Landowners Better Environmental Stewards

7 August 2002

Landowners Better Environmental Stewards Than Government Agencies

Predators are the biggest threat to kiwis, not destruction of their habitat, say Federated Farmer's Wanganui President Rachel Stewart and Taranaki President Neville Haggenson.

Forest and Bird have raised concern about the burn off of regenerating scrubland in the Waitotara catchment, which is a kiwi habitat.

"The farm in question provides a good habitat for kiwi because of the extensive predator control programme undertaken by the landowner," said Ms Stewart.

The farm owner in question has been granted a permit to transfer the possibly four kiwis to the nearby Bushy Park Reserve.

"This exercise is a good example of landowners, DoC and a community trust working together for the good of an endangered species.

"The landownder has actively worked to ensure that he complies strictly with both District and Regional Councils' by-laws and the Resource Management Act. He has gone well beyond these requirements to enhance the adjoining kiwi habitat through his predator control and monitoring.

"This is a true example of a sustainable development initiative by a farmer addressing the economic imperatives to enable him to invest in the conservation and recreational values of his property.

"We can point to other properties in Taranaki where property owners have their efforts compromised by poor DoC management of the neighbouring land because of inadequate funds.

"If Forest and Bird are genuine in their desire to protect kiwi through predator management and habitat management on private land, the first thing they must do is stop alienating landowners."

ENDS




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