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Pest Removal Firm Takes D.O.C. to Court

MEDIA RELEASE
20 October 2005

Pest Removal Firm Takes D.O.C. to Court

An Auckland company that has battled for almost two years for approval to rid New Zealand’s waterways of increasing populations of the noxious pest koi carp at no cost to the taxpayer is taking the Department of Conservation to court.

New Zealand Waterways Restoration Ltd in September filed in the High Court at Wellington seeking a declaratory judgement that would effectively overturn a decision by DOC stopping the company from removing an environmental pest.

“We didn’t want to get to this point. We have done all we can to convince DOC that their approach is, we believe, outside the bounds of reasonableness and unfortunately now we need to question the merits of a decision that stops us from removing a noxious pest from our waterways,” NZWR director Gray Jamieson said today.

New Zealand Waterways Restoration has successfully eradicated koi carp from small lakes and ponds in Northland and around Auckland and believes it can eradicate them from larger bodies of water. Koi carp are noxious pests under the Conservation Act 1987 and the Freshwater Fisheries Regulations.

Mr Jamieson said his company was also seeking a judicial review of DOC’s Chief Technical Officer’s decision preventing NZWR from undertaking its plans to export live koi carp. “The CTO failed to take into account the fact that the Ministry of Fisheries provided us with a Special Permit to remove these pests and export some of them. We certainly don’t believe it’s in the interests of the public to have two separate Government agencies considering the same matter but coming to two different conclusions.”

Mr Jamieson said claims by DOC that his quarantine holding ponds in Warkworth were not secure were farcical, since the facility has held koi for 11 years and he had already received approval from the Ministries of Fisheries. NZWR wanted to eradicate koi carp through his patented Pest Fish Management System, which uses targeted pellets to kill brood stock of koi carp and of which he was confident would eventually eradicate koi from our waters.

In the meantime, New Zealand Waterways Restoration would reduce large numbers of koi through an effective netting regime and almost all would be exported to markets in Europe creating employment and export revenue.

“Our company’s vision is to see this pest eradicated from the New Zealand environment. They are completely destroying our lakes and rivers and turning them into brown muddy wastes that choke our plants and kill our native fish,” Mr Jamieson said.

ENDS

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