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Predator Control "Battle For Our Birds" Has Changed

The Department of Conservation has quietly re branded its highly controversial predator control programme "Battle For Our Birds" to "Tiakina Nga Manu" which translated means "To look after the birds". The NZ Outdoors Party congratulates the Department for listening to the many New Zealanders who found DOC’s former slogan "Battle For Our Birds" to be aggressive and to clash with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s plea for a kinder and more compassionate New Zealand and respect for diversity.

Outdoors Party co-leader Alan Simmons said: "Its excellent news that DoC is finally starting to understand the futility and depth of feeling against the government’s self-created “Battle against Nature”. The public wants to be proud of New Zealand’s great outdoors, not have our wildlife, forests and waterways regularly dosed in deadly poison in a blind mission to try to kill possums and other target species at any cost. DOC’s “us and them” stance has isolated it from the public, and caused communities to fear rather than celebrate DOoC’s work. This has resulted in protests all over New Zealand. Outdoors people are increasingly calling for a change from DOC’s reliance on poison towards “Compassionate Conservation,” to make ecosystems healthier and more resilient. This fits well with the Prime Minister’s own compassionate vision for New Zealand.. "

The recent news of an estimated 30 Kea being killed by 1080 poison in the Whataroa https://www.outdoorsparty.co.nz/1279-2/ is a recent example where the indiscriminate use of poisons has killed rather than saved our iconic endangered birds.
Alan Simmons has in the past called on the Government to act responsibly and place an immediate moratorium on any further aerial 1080 poison operations and move to more targeted ground-based control operations.

"The imminent aerial operation on the sacred Mountain of Pihanga near Tongariro is another example of DoC’s ongoing reckless aerial use of deadly poison" he said. "Most of the mountain can be accessed within minutes of the town of Turangi where hundreds of hunters and bushmen desperately look for employment and for safe food sources. The Pihanga poison operation includes the catchment and streams running into Lake Rotopounamu which is considered by people all over the world to be spiritually significant. The purity of that water has a special recognition as one of the earth's treasured elements. This sacred Mountain and its water courses should be protected from poison. To date the private contractor has not provided any evidence that there is a predator problem and it appears to be more a case of ticking boxes and spending allocated funds. If in fact there is proof of a serious predator problem – since aerial poison was last spread here just last year- it could be managed with more targeted ground based operations."

"Just changing the name of DOC’s battles against nature is not enough” Alan said. The Department of Conservation needs to review its whole approach to reconnect with the public, obtain a public mandate for its activities and to recognise the public demand to protect our waterways, protect our wild food, and start to work with nature. The public are increasingly recognising the future is in Compassionate Conservation. How long will it take for the government to follow?"

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