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

 

Scientists Open Letter To Kate Wilkinson

7 December 2011
To:
The Honourable Kate Wilkinson, MP
The Director General, Department of Conservation, Mr Al Morrison

We wish to register our collective dismay at the current restructuring of the Department of Conservation. The effect of these changes is of particular concern with regards to science and technical support staff. The dedicated staff in these positions are intimately involved in planning and advising field based conservation management and research. Therefore, to suggest that rangers and field based staff will not be affected by these changes, as the Minister and Director General claim, is ludicrous.

The Department of Conservation is characterised by an incredibly dedicated staff who are passionate about their jobs. Unfortunately, this dedication to conservation is not reflected by government. There is an ongoing reduction in capacity, support and funding for New Zealand conservation, along with the continual threat of restructuring and “reprioritisation” of resources. The loss of positions coupled with those who chose to leave an under-resourced and uncertain future within the department is to the detriment of New Zealand Conservation and ultimately to New Zealanders.

New Zealand has an outstanding international reputation for innovative and effective conservation management. This reputation has been hard won through snatching iconic species from the brink of extinction – the Chatham Island black robin, kakapo, takahe and saddleback. Many more species and ecosystems teeter on the edge of oblivion. We have the expertise to prevent this from happening but the experts require funding, support and job security.

This week over 1300 conservation biologists from more than 75 countries will converge on Auckland for the International Congress on Conservation Biology.

As academics and scientists with intimate links to New Zealand-based conservation management, science and research what will we say when our international colleagues ask about conservation in New Zealand? We have many good things to tell them because conservationists are, by necessity, a dedicated and determined group of people. But we cannot say that this commitment is reflected by our government and we will doubtless relay our fears for the future of New Zealand conservation.

100% Pure New Zealand has to be more than a marketing slogan to attract tourists and buoy exports of our agriculture products. It requires a well-funded Department of Conservation and secure roles within the department for the dedicated staff to simply get on with their job of protecting New Zealand’s biodiversity. We acknowledge the current economic challenges facing the globe but we also ask that conservation management and science be properly acknowledged as a strategic asset for the wealth of all New Zealanders and funded as such. Recessions come and go: extinction is forever.

Kind Regards

1. Kevin A. Parker, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute of Natural Sciences, Massey University
2. Alan Mark, FRSNZ, KNZM, Emeritus Professor, Department of Botany, University of Otago
3. Doug P. Armstrong, Professor of Conservation Biology, Institute of Natural Resources, Massey University
4. Manu Barry, PhD, Research Officer, Institute of Natural Sciences, Massey University
5. Dr Brendon Dunphy, School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland
6. Joshua M. Gilbert, PhD candidate, School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland
7. Sarah Withers, PhD candidate, School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland
8. Weihong Ji, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Institute of Natural Sciences, Massey University
9. Andrew Veale, MSc, Tutor, School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland
10. Ian Jamieson, Associate Professor, Department of Zoology, University of Otago
11. Anne Gaskett, PhD, Lecturer, School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland
12. Associate Professor Brian Murray, School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland
13. Chris Wedding, MSc, Ecologist, Bioresearches Group Ltd
14. Dylan van Winkel, MSc, Wildlife Ecologist/Herpetologist, Bioresearches Group Ltd
15. Mary Morgan-Richards, Associate Professor, Institute of Natural Sciences, Massey University
16. Sarah E. Jamieson, PhD, Conservation Research Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute of Natural Resources, Massey University
17. Elizabeth Parlato, PhD candidate, Institute of Natural Resources, Massey University
18. Alana Smith, MSc candidate, Institute of Natural Resources, Massey University
19. Carol Bannock, MSc, Ecologist, Muriwai Environmental Action Community Trust
20. Priscilla Wehi, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute of Natural Sciences, Massey University
21. Robert Poulin, FRSNZ, Professor, Department of Zoology, University of Otago
22. Matt Rayner, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland
23. Dr Margaret Stanley, Centre for Biodiversity & Biosecurity, School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland
24. Dr Janice M. Lord, Curator, Otago Herbarium, University of Otago
25. Natalia Pardo, PhD Candidate, Institute of Natural Resources, Massey University
26. Ina Draganova, MPhil, PhD candidate, Institute of Natural Resources, Massey University
27. Sandra Anderson, Field Ecologist, School of Biological Sciences/School of Environment, University of Auckland
28. Dr Jamie Mackay, Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland
29. Jessica Costall, Institute of Natural Resources, Massey University
30. Trent Bell, BSc, Director/Principal Herpetologist, EcoGecko Consultants Limited
31. Josie Galbraith, PhD Candidate, School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland
32. Phil F. Battley, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Institute of Natural Sciences, Massey University
33. Cheryl Krull, PhD Candidate, Centre for Biodiversity and Biosecurity, University of Auckland
34. Michael Anderson, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute of Natural Sciences, Massey University
35. Claas Damken, PhD candidate, School of Environment, The University of Auckland | Te Whare Wananga o Tamaki Makaurau
36. Ralph Allen, PhD, Environmental Consultant (Retired), Dunedin
37. Dr Mike Joy, Senior Lecturer, Institute of Natural Resources, Massey University
38. Jacqui Todd, Scientist, Plant and Food Research
39. Charlotte Minson, PhD Candidate, Institute of Natural Resources, Massey University
40. Sarah Peters, MSc candidate, School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland
41. Helen Nathan, PhD candidate, Joint Graduate School in Biodiversity and Biosecurity, University of Auckland
42. Emeritus Professor John Flenley, School of People, Environment and Planning, Massey University
43. Emma Curtin, MSc candidate, Institute of Natural Resources, Massey University
44. Joanne E Peace, PhD, Reserves Co-ordinator, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Auckland
45. Gaylynne Carter, PhD candidate, Institute of Natural Resources, Massey University
46. Manpreet Kaur, PhD Candidate, School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland
47. Graham Wallis, Professor, Department of Zoology, University of Otago
48. Tim Martin, PhD, Wildland Consultants Ltd
49. David Glenny, PhD, Scientist, Landcare Research, Lincoln
50. Graeme Hill, Broadcaster, Radio Live
51. Allan J. Fife, Ph.D., Research botanist, Allan Herbarium, Landcare Research, Lincoln
52. Dr Jessica E Beever, Contract Research, Landcare Research
53. Dr Bruce Burns, Senior Lecturer in Ecology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland
54. Kate Richardson, PhD candidate, Institute of Natural Resources, Massey University
55. Benjamin Barr. MSc (Conservation Biology). Friends of Matakohe Limestone Island
56. Patrick Enright, Botanist and Systems Manager
57. Professor David Lowe, PhD, FRSNZ, FNZSSS, Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of Waikato
58. Ellen Schoener, PhD candidate, Institute of Natural Resources, Massey University
59. Karen Creagh
60. Thomas Goodman, MSc candidate, University of Auckland
61. Gillian Dennis, (B.Pharm, P.G. Dip PRT), Institute of Natural Resources, Massey University
62. Jane Gosden, MSc Candidate, University of Canterbury
63. Laura Young, PhD Candidate, University of Canterbury
64. Bob Lissington, Business Manager, Institute of Natural Resources, Massey University
65. Elizabeth Brown, National Herbarium of New South Wales, Australia
66. Emma Williams, MSc candidate, Institute of Natural Resources, Massey University
67. Chris Smuts-Kennedy, Biodiversity Manager, Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust
68. Professor Peter Lockhart, FRSNZ, Massey University
69. Dr Joshua Salter, PhD (Botany), Auckland
70. Shelly Heiss-Dunlop, Auckland, New Zealand
71. Mr W.R.Sykes, Research Associate, Landcare Research, Lincoln
72. Dr Lorne Roberts, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Social and Health Sciences, Department of Natural Science, Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland
73. Dan Blanchon, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Department of Natural Sciences, Unitec Institute of Technology
74. Dr John Ewen, RUCK Research Fellow, Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London, U.K.
75. Mel Galbraith, Senior Lecturer, Department of Natural Sciences, Unitec Institute of Technology
76. Becky Bell, BSc, MSc (Hons), Terrestrial Ecologist, Golder Associates (NZ) Limited
77. Phil Bishop, BSc, MSc, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Zoology, University of Otago
78. Alice H. Tait, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute of Natural Sciences, Massey University
79. Sarah Dwyer, PhD Candidate, Coastal-Marine Research Group, Massey University
80. Associate Professor Dianne Brunton, Institute of Natural Sciences, Massey University
81. Ash King BSc. Masters candidate, Institute of Natural Sciences, Massey University
82. Andy Warneford, MSc, Contract Ecologist
83. Sam Hill, recent Postgraduate Student in Conservation Biology, Institute of Natural Sciences, Massey University
84. Mark Delaney, Ecology Research Technician, , Institute of Natural Sciences, Massey University
85. Michelle M. Roper, MSc candidate, Institute of Natural Sciences, Massey University
86. Friederike Jordan, MSc candidate, Institute of Natural Sciences, Massey University, Auckland
87. Rachael Cousins, MSc, Conservation Biology, Institute of Natural Resources, Massey University
88. Monique Jansen van Rensburg, MSc Hons, Independent ecologist, Auckland
89. Melanie Massaro, PhD, School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury
90. Idan Shapira, PhD Candidate, Institute of Natural Sciences, Massey University
91. Todd Landers, PhD Candidate, University of Auckland
92. Dr Diane Fraser, Senior Lecturer, Department Natural Sciences, Unitec, Auckland
93. Jenny Laycock, PhD candidate, Institute of Natural Sciences, Massey University
94. Bill Lee, PhD, Landcare Research
95. James Dale, Senior Lecturer, Massey University (PhD 2001 – Cornell University)
96. A.W. Diamond, Ph.D., Research Professor, Wildlife Ecology, University of New Brunswick, Canada
97. Paul “Ditch” Keeling, Pest Animal Specialist Contractor/ex 17 years with DOC
98. Jessica Smith, MSc Candidate, Institute of Natural Sciences, Massey University
99. Neil Henderson, Project Manager, Weedfree Trust, Auckland
100. Dan Godoy, PhD Candidate, Institute of Natural Sciences, Massey University
101. Dr Barbara Breen, PhD, School of Applied Sciences, AUT University, Auckland
102. Dr Agnes Le Port, University of Auckland
103. Carlos Olavarria, PhD, Post Doctoral Fellow, Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Lincoln University
104. Kaye van der Straten, Marine and Wildlife Biologist, Wildsalt Consultants
105. Dan Salmon, Octopus Pictures LtD
106. Kelsey Nichols, MSc Candidate, Institute of Natural Sciences, Massey University
107. Associate Professor Dave Kelly, School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why Big Spenders Are Not Our Tourism Salvation


Covid and climate change have been changing the face of tourism. That’s why it seemed oddly premature last week for Tourism Minister Stuart to announce that New Zealand isn’t interested in mass tourism any more, or in attracting the sort of budget visitors who “travel around our country on $10 a day eating two-minute noodles.” Instead, New Zealand aims to focus its marketing efforts on attracting wealthy, big spending tourists. “In terms of targeting our marketing spin,” Nash said, “it is unashamedly going to be at … High-quality tourists.” Really? The comments have raised a few eyebrows overseas, and a few hackles here at home. Nash’s comments have also been something of a gift to an Opposition adept at portraying the Ardern government as a bunch of liberal elitists out of touch with ordinary people...
More>>




 
 

National: Surgical Wait List Hits New Record
A new record has been set for New Zealanders waiting more than four months for surgery, National’s Health spokesperson Dr Shane Reti says... More>>


School Strike 4 Climate: Intergenerational Climate Strike On September 23rd
Once again School Strike for climate Ōtautahi (Christchurch) is asking all students to unite in a call to all council candidates to #voteclimate. Happening on Friday 23rd of September... More>>

Privacy Commissioner: Public Input Sought To Inform Privacy Rules For Biometrics
Privacy Commissioner Michael Webster is encouraging New Zealanders to have their say on the use of biometric information in Aotearoa New Zealand... More>>


Government: Wage Growth Best On Record
Workers’ have experienced their biggest pay hike on record, outstripping inflation. Stats NZ figures show median weekly earnings from wages and salaries jumped by 8.8 percent in the June year... More>>

Human Rights Commission: Urgent Government Action Needed To Support Renters’ Human Rights
An immediate freeze on rent increases could give renters some reprieve during the cost-of-living crisis says Te Kahui Tika Tangata, the Human Rights Commission... More>>


Government: Creating Sustainable Public Transport For All
Workers and public transport users are at the heart of the new Sustainable Public Transport Framework, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today... More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels