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

 


Latest DOC Cuts Threaten Endangered Kakapo Recovery

1 April 2013 - Wellington

Forest & Bird media release for immediate use

Latest DOC Cuts Threaten Endangered Kakapo Recovery


The proposed loss of 140 frontline Department of Conservation staff announced last week will have a significant impact on the recovery of the kakapo - one of our most endangered native animals - according to independent conservation group Forest & Bird.

"As the details have emerged, it is clear that, contrary to assurances from Conservation Minister Nick Smith, the proposed cuts will have a direct impact on the conservation of some of our most endangered species," Forest & Bird Advocacy Manager Kevin Hackwell says.

One example is the small, highly skilled and dedicated Kakapo Recovery Programme team, which will not only lose its dedicated programme manager but also the sole technical ranger and sole dedicated scientist. This will destroy the team's crucial scientific and technical skill base.

The considerable success of the Kakapo Recovery Programme followed a 1995 international review that identified the need for a highly skilled technical team to closely manage the recovery of the world's largest and rarest parrot.

"This is still a highly technical programme requiring complex genetic management. Only 40 per cent of kakapo eggs currently hatch because of inbreeding and if this gets worse the species could be doomed. Despite the team's success, there are only 126 kakapo in the world today," Kevin Hackwell says.

"The team has made a huge investment in understanding the genetics of the kakapo population, in the development of artificial insemination techniques, nest management, artificial incubation, hand rearing and in developing a detailed understanding of the environmental factors that determine kakapo breeding success," he says.

The kakapo team works as part of the Southern Islands Area Office, alongside the team that manages New Zealand's five sub-Antarctic island groups. Under the proposed changes to DOC's structure, a smaller total number of staff will be required to do both lots of work but without the same technical and scientific support.

"We will see a loss of specialist skills and knowledge for both of these important work areas," Kevin Hackwell says. "However, the impact will be particularly significant for the future of kakapo because of the loss of the specialist scientific and technical skills needed to support their recovery.

"When the frontline staff cuts were announced last week, the Minister of Conservation, Nick Smith, gave assurances that they would not affect the conservation of our endangered species.

"This is clearly not the case for kakapo, and the same appears to be true for other endangered species recovery work around the country.

"We hope that as the impacts from the latest round of proposed staff cuts come to light, the department will rethink the extent of the cuts and the government will increase the department's funding in next month's Budget," Kevin Hackwell says.

"There is a sad irony that the same week DOC was threatening the kakapo recovery to meet the government's funding cuts, the government has indicated it is considering giving the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter's multi-national owners a multi-million-dollar support package."

The smelter has for many years been the corporate sponsor of the Kakapo Recovery Programme.

"Most New Zealanders would rather that the government gives our endangered species the support they need rather than subsidising multi-national companies."

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home.

To the US, drones are a legitimate response to the threat posed by the al Qaeda organisation and its franchisees... To the US, the drones carry the added advantage of not putting US troops at risk on the ground, and minimises the need for putting them in large numbers in bases in the countries concerned, always a politically sensitive point.

The counter-argument, well articulated by security analyst Paul Buchanan on RNZ this morning, is that this particular drone attack can be said to amount to an extra-judicial execution of a New Zealand citizen by one of our military allies, in circumstances where the person concerned posed no threat to New Zealand’s domestic security. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>

ALSO:

Bad Transnationals: Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award

It won the 2011 Roger Award and was runner up in 2012, 2009 and 08. One 2013 nomination said simply and in its entirety: “Blackmailing country”... More>>

ALSO:

Select Committees: Tobacco Plain Packaging Hearings

The Stroke Foundation is today backing the Cancer Society and Smokefree Coalition who are making oral submissions to the Health Select Committee in support of proposed legislation to remove of all branding from tobacco products. More>>

ALSO:

Milk: Oravida Asked For Cabinet Help

New evidence released by New Zealand First today reveals Justice Minister Judith Collins used her position to manipulate the Government to help her husband’s company, Oravida, after the Fonterra botulism scare, says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. More>>

ALSO:

With Conditions: Ruataniwha Consents Approved In Draft Decision

The Tukituki Catchment Proposal Board of Inquiry has granted 17 resource consents relating to the $265 million Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme in a draft decision that would open more of the Hawke’s Bay to irrigation. More>>

ALSO:

Fast Lanes, Campervans: Labour 'Making The Holidays Easier For Kiwi Drivers'

The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Royalty And Its Tourism Spin-Offs

Ultimately the Queen’s longevity has been one of her most significant accomplishments. A transition to Prince Charles while the monarchy was in the pits of public esteem in the mid to late 1990s would have been disastrous for the Royal Firm. Far more congenial representatives have now emerged... More>>

ALSO:

Privacy (Again): ACC Demands Excessive Privacy Waivers

Labour: “This is just another example of ACC under National deliberately acting to deny treatment and compensation... Those who did fill in the form have effectively been victims of yet another ACC privacy breach. This time Judith Collins knew it was happening..." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news