DOC relying on private groups to save kiwi
Fri, 29 Jun 2012 6:27p.m.
By Samantha Hayes
Labour says the Department of Conservation (DOC) is so short of cash that it is relying on private groups to help protect native birds like the kiwi.
Twelve million dollars is spent every year saving the kiwi, with a third of it coming from DOC and the rest from private organisations.
The Cape Sanctuary in Hawke’s Bay in one of those working to protect the native, with kiwi from the sanctuary being swapped with birds from a nearby forest for breeding.
Each bird costs $3,000 to raise, which is mostly funded by the Forest Lifeforce Restoration Trust.
Labour conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson says private groups like the trust are taking a greater role in protecting endangered wildlife because of funding cuts at DOC.
“Their budget has been so badly cut, they have lost so many staff over the past three years that really they're starting to rely on these groups to do their basic functions,” she says.
The vast majority of kiwi funding in New Zealand comes from the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ). A hardware company is funding the takehe, an energy company the whio and an aluminium smelter the kakapo.
DOC has cut 96 staff and $54 million from its budget but Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson says it will keep spending around $4 million a year on kiwi recovery.
“I think we have to realise that the Department of Conservation can't do everything. We will never have enough money but the important thing is to get the conservation message out to get businesses really buzzed up about conservation,” she says.
Ms Dyson says that relying on private businesses in this way is risky.
“What happens if BNZ or any other group decides that they've given enough money to the kiwi, or penguin or blue duck or whatever, and they're going to put it into another project? We'd be stranded,” she says.
But DOC says private partnerships are the future of conservation, and that another sponsor will always step up.
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2/07/2012 4:04:26 p.m.
Rob Edward wrote:
Richard, a solution that is efficient, efficacious and cost effective does not require "excuses". The science and the morality of using 1080 is sound.
2/07/2012 9:27:21 a.m.
Have done the research Rob - there is no excuse good enough for pouring synthetic poison (1080) over our country side and in our waterways. It's also an inhumane killer ie, a slow painful death.
1/07/2012 9:28:47 p.m.
Dennis and Richard, you need to spend some time understanding the 1080 issue rather than just emoting via a keyboard. Your opinions are quite wrong. 1080 saves far far more flora and fauna than it harms.
30/06/2012 4:47:05 p.m.
Couldn't agree with you more RICHARD!!!!! DOC should stop wasting money and poisoning the bush with 1080.
30/06/2012 1:32:38 p.m.
DOC just need to STOP spending million$ on 1080 poison which, also kills Kiwi, Weka, ...
29/06/2012 7:30:19 p.m.
Steve Marshall wrote:
Isn't that nice?
Alcan is saving the kakapo
Air New Zealand is saving the Okarito Lagoon
BNZ is saving the Kiwi
Mitre 10 is saving the takahe
And SkyCity is saving the endangered pokie.
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