Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


NZ govt fails Maui’s dolphins on global stage

Media release - WWF, ECO, Greenpeace, Forest & Bird

NZ govt fails Maui’s dolphins on global stage

(Wellington, 21 Sept) –The government has come under fire for opposing action to save the critically endangered Maui’s dolphin at the world’s largest conservation summit – with leading conservation groups calling New Zealand’s actions on the international stage ‘shameful’.

A motion to stop the extinction of the world’s rarest dolphins and porpoises, including New Zealand’s Hector’s and Maui’s dolphins and Mexico’s vaquitas, was passed with an overwhelming majority at the IUCN’s World Conservation Congress in Jeju, Korea last week.

576 IUCN members, including governments and NGOs, voted for the motion, and only two opposed*. The New Zealand government was one of them.

Rebecca Bird, WWF’s Marine Programme Manager, said: “There is overwhelming global support for the New Zealand government to take action to stop gillnet and trawl fishing threatening the survival of our endangered dolphins.

“By voting against essential protection for the world’s most endangered marine dolphin, the New Zealand government has acted shamefully and can no longer claim to be leaders in conservation. If we fail to act now, it will not be long before Maui’s disappear from our waters forever.”

Barry Weeber, co-chair of the Environment and Conservation Organisations of New Zealand (ECO), which sponsored the motion, received input on the proposal from members of the IUCN’s Species Survival Commission Cetaceans Specialist Group. "Almost everyone apart from the New Zealand government wanted to see a strong resolution that recognised the threatened status of these special dolphins and porpoises.”

Karli Thomas, Greenpeace Oceans Campaigner, said: "Our government is letting minority business interests ride rough shod over the values of ordinary New Zealanders. By voting against this call to protect our most endangered dolphin, New Zealand has arrogantly dismissed international concern and has severely tarnished our global reputation.”

WWF-New Zealand, Greenpeace, ECO and Forest & Bird are campaigning to protect the critically endangered Maui’s and endangered Hector’s dolphins from extinction, and support the IUCN resolution that was overwhelmingly endorsed by members at the Jeju meeting.



The World Conservation Congress met in Jeju, Republic of Korea, 6–15 September 2012.

The motion passed was: M035 - Actions to avert the extinctions of rare dolphins: Maui’s dolphins, Hector’s dolphins, Vaquita porpoises and South Asian river and freshwater dependent dolphins and porpoises

*Government votes: 117 yes, 2 no, 18 abstentions. NGO votes: 459 yes, 0 no, 8 abstentions.

The M035 motion text “urged the New Zealand Government to:

a. Urgently extend dolphin protection measures, with an emphasis on banning gill net and trawl net use from the shoreline to the 100 meter depth contour in all areas where Hector’s and Maui’s dolphins are found, including harbours;

b. To increase immediately the level of monitoring and enforcement with an emphasis on requiring 100 percent observer coverage on any gill net or trawling vessels allowed to operate in any part of the range of Hector’s and Maui’s dolphins until such bans can be implemented; and

c. To report such action and monitoring and enforcement results”

Motions at the World Conservation Congress are important for setting policy for the IUCN, providing benchmarks conservation benchmarks for member nations.

A final published version is not yet available, but the 'working' draft motion can be viewed directly at http://portals.iucn.org/2012motions/?q=M-035


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Key In NY: Prime Minister Addresses United Nations

Prime Minister John Key has addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York, focusing on a call for action in Syria and on other conflicts, reform of the veto process and on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. More>>.


Gordon Campbell: On The Lack Of Accountability Over Philip Smith

In New Zealand, accountability is an exotic creature rarely glimpsed at ministerial level, or among senior management. The flight to Rio by the paedophile /murderer Philip John Smith/Traynor is no exception. More>>


More On Corrections

Gordon Campbell: On Putin’s Diplomatic Coup Over Syria

There’s a simple historical precedent for what is occurring in Syria. During WWII, the Allies joined forces with a known butcher and tyrant – Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union – in order to defeat a greater evil, Nazi Germany… More>>


Key 'Didn't Know': Brownlee Seeks Pandas In China

While Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee is in China pushing a taxpayer funded deal to bring two pandas to New Zealand, the country’s military look set to be hit with a pay freeze, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. More>>


Scoop Business: GCSB Willing To Extend Cyber-Attack Programme To Local ISPs

The Government Communications Security Bureau’s ‘Cortex’ cyber-security programme has been successful in helping identify and mitigate a series of cyber attacks since its introduction and an extension to cover local internet service providers is still on the cards... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Chris Brown Furore

Thank goodness Dame Tariana Turia has been able to inject a bit of common sense into the Chris Brown visa issue – her argument being that forgiveness has a place in this decision, and there is an opportunity here that should be taken... More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news