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


Minister of Finance: Plan Shows $100 Billion Infrastructure Projects

Finance Minister Bill English has today launched the Government’s Ten Year Capital Intentions Plan (CIP) which shows a pipeline of $100.9 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the next decade. More>>


Werewolf: Safe Landings Gordon Campbell on the safety challenge to the Wellington runway extension.

The safety-related legal challenge revolves around the size of the 90 metre long Runway End Safety Area (RESA) being proposed for the runway extension. More>>


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Prisons Grow: Government Approves Plans For Increased Prison Capacity

Despite significant progress in reducing crime the number of prisoners has increased faster than projected. This is because the proportion of offenders charged with serious crimes has risen, meaning more people are being remanded in custody and serving more of their sentences in prison. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Plastic Bag Activism, And Street Harassment

Amusing to see the Act Party experiencing another outbreak of young fogey-ism. What has aroused the ire of Act Leader David Seymour this time is the introduction of a Greens private members bill to the ballot process, calling for a 15 cents levy on plastic bags to reduce pollution. More>>


Unclear Weapons: US Navy Ship Cleared To Visit NZ For Navy's 75th

United States Navy ship, the USS Sampson, has been given clearance to visit New Zealand next month by Prime Minister John Key... “The process for considering the visit by the USS Sampson is the same as that used for all ships attending the International Naval Review." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news