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KIWI Blasts Monopoly Attitude in DOC

6 April 2005

Kapiti Island North End - KIWI Blasts Monopoly Attitude in DOC

Kapiti Island Watching Interest (KIWI) has condemned the Department of Conservation (DOC) for locking the public out of the North End public land on Kapiti Island. DOC’s exclusion of the public from the North End started today.

KIWI president, Dr Hugh Barr said “ DOC is showing a blatant disregard for the public, by giving this monopoly to the private homestay, ‘until facilities can be built’. DOC is abolishing the 50 year old current system, which allows the public to access the North End as part of visiting the nature reserve, to ensure the private homestay has a monopoly. There is no need to cut the public’s access. The only reason for this lockout appears to be to give the homestay a monopoly.”

“Given DOC is in deep financial trouble, having recently sacked 15% of its scientific staff to help cover a $6 million shortfall, it is unclear when, if ever, the public facilities at the North End will be built” Dr Barr said. “Ironically DOC’s arguments for introducing these permits to the North End public land, was according to the Conservator, because they had no ability to control illegal access or behaviour from the homestay. DOC has no presence at the North End. Now homestay people will have no DOC supervision, and no public presence either. Its farcical.”

DOC has failed to comply with a Court order to demarcate the private land boundaries at the North End. DOC’s supposed public consultation on the issue has been a manipulation. It showed the public wanted more access, not a lockout. It is simply a rubber stamp for the Department’s own agendas” Dr Barr said.

“In terms of creating public lack of confidence in DOC’s ability to do its job, this is the privatisation equivalent of Cave Creek” Dr Barr said. “Bias like this against the public is making the recreational public gravely concerned about the Department’s commitment to do its job fairly, and about its future.”

ENDS


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