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Stop Toxins, Use Traps - "Predator-Free NZ" Founder

Press release 13 June 2018

Stop Toxin's, Use Traps - “ Predator-Free -New Zealand" Founder

The use of Toxins should be immediately stopped and replaced with a nation-wide system of trapping says the founder of Predator Free NZ.

"Non-toxin trapping, using the latest self resetting technology to eradicate the introduced mammalian predators from the mainland of New Zealand is the only ecologically sensible way" says Les Kelly of Blenheim and the founder of the original predatorfreenz, (pfnz).

The New Zealand invented and manufactured non-toxin self-resetting traps had been proven by the Department of Conservation's own trials to be more successful than any other method, with zero population's of predators within 3 months.

“ No other 'tool' can achieve or maintain this and they can be deployed on large scale areas such as National parks,” he said.

The underlying question is, why was the Department persisting with the dispersion of tens of thousands of tonnes of toxin across the country when it knows there was a environmentally economically proven non-toxin alternative.

The Department of Conservation’s, (DoC), own website, acknowledges that Les Kelly started and funded the establishment of the Predator Free New Zealand plans, concept and name in 2008 until the 2nd May 2013, when the Department of Conservation stole predator free New Zealand, he claimed.

Questioned as to the reason for DoC’s usurping of the name, he was baffled.

"Why is the operative word when the Department of Conservation has, with enthusiasm for the last 4 years, been recruiting partnerships. Why would they shamelessly conspire to eliminate the one group/partner, the original non-toxin pfnz that has the ability to raise incredible amounts of long term private funding, mobilise and strengthen the plans and concept of a predator free New Zealand thereby removing a very large burden from an already over-burdened Department of Conservation and taxpayer. Why? Why? It doesn’t make sense but then bureaucrats often don’t with their own agendas."

Les Kelly welcomed the Coalition Governments budget announcement of a further $45.5 million a year for DoC for the next 4 years, but added " the Department is still desperately under-funded and would only be able to “control" 25% of the public’s conservation estate, what is the the fate of the remaining 75% ?, he asked.

He said his group was astonished and disappointed that the new Labour Coalition Government was following the plans and strategies of the previous National Government, 'control', and to use even more toxins, and at higher concentrations.

"This current 'control' method has been used for over 30 years and is clearly not working, the disastrous rate of decline of our wildlife is evidence of this failure. " he said, “ This expensive strategy will need to be repeated year after year and more importantly will not gain the vital community support required for a successful predator free New Zealand.”

Les Kelly said it was disappointing that Labour Government's coalition partner, NZ First, seemed to be supporting aerial dispersion of toxins, when, prior to the elections they had pledged to stop this practice . Also questionable was the rationale of the Green Party in pushing for increased toxin dosage and usage and choosing to ignore a non-toxin approach.

"Have they not done their homework, what about the 'Clean Green' image they want to promote?" he asked.

Les Kelly emphasised that, to be successful a non-toxin Predator Free New Zealand has to be owned by all New Zealanders, be a non-government organisation with no political appointees, which would ensure it was an attractive option for private long term fund providers that would relieve a large burden from the taxpayer through innovative fund raising which was unavailable to the Department of Conservation.

“It would also avoid bureaucratic wastage and delays and, more importantly, eliminate future political interference that has hampered the Department of Conservation over the years" he said.

Kelly's original pfnz group had completed a strategy/feasibility/benefit document which covered the costs for a complete mainland non-toxin pfnz,

“It is on-line at predatorfreenz.com,” he added

From the beginning, the original Predator Free NZ had communicated and met with people of conservation influence, including the previous National Government's senior Ministers, Forest and Bird, iwi, Landcare and others.

“We introduced them to the pfnz concept of eradicating the introduced predators preying on the endangered species on the mainland of New Zealand.”

Kelly expressed frustration at trying to deal with political and bureaucratic forces.

“We have tried to communicate with Ministers of the previous and current Government's to have our stolen property returned so that we can establish an NGO (non-government-organisation independent of Government), a not-for-profit predator free organisation. But all to no avail. Many written requests have been ignored. Why, when it’s relieving the taxpayer of the funding burden, is ecologically safe unlike toxins - and will succeed.”

Les Kelly said his group were demanding answers to two key questions from the Labour Coalition Government;-

Why were they persisting with mass toxin applications when there is a economically environmental friendly, Department of Conservation proven non-toxin alternative ?

Why was the Government not returning the stolen predator free NZ name and concept when the Department of Conservation was actively pursuing partnerships using the stolen name?

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