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

 

Sounds Like A Plan: Auckland Council Receives Unitary Plan Recommendations

A key milestone in New Zealand planning history was reached today when the Independent Hearings Panel delivered the reports containing its recommendations on the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan. More>>

ALSO:

National Park Expansion: Forests And Coast Of Kahurangi Protected

Five parcels of high value land totalling more than 890 hectares have been formally gazetted as part of the National Park. More>>

ALSO:

PPP Go-Ahead: SkyPath Gets Unanimous Support

Auckland’s SkyPath project has been given the go-ahead to be delivered through a public private partnership, after a unanimous decision at today’s Finance and Performance Committee. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Reserve Bank, The UN Shortlist, And Trump

Can there really be there any link between the US presidential elections and yesterday’s RBNZ signals on interest rates and the NZ dollar? Well, maybe. And it would be this: the improving US economy is reportedly putting a tailwind behind the US dollar, and rendering the actions of our Reserve Bank virtually irrelevant. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On What John Key Should Be Asking Joe Biden

No doubt, US Vice-President Joe Biden will be updating Prime Minister John Key on the chances of a TPP vote taking place in the ‘ lame duck’ session of Congress that’s held between the November’s election and the inauguration of a new President in January. More>>

ALSO:

Make NZ Make Again: Greens Will Establish A Minister For Manufacturing

The Green Party announced today that it will establish a Minister for Manufacturing in Cabinet, to better represent the interests of manufacturers and ensure they thrive. The Minister will be inside Cabinet and have responsibility for the long-term interests of the manufacturing sector. More>>

ALSO:

Cannabis Party: Treasury Figures On Cost Of Criminalisation

Figures released by Treasury prove the economic viability of The Cannabis Party's policy, while destroying the credibility of police claims about cannabis harms. More>>

ALSO:

Green Party: Investigation Into Mental Health Facilities Shows Disarray

The Health Minister must urgently launch an inquiry into mental health services, after serious issues with the standard of care at mental health and disability facilities around the country were revealed today, the Green Party said. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news