Release: Birds of a feather perish together under National

The kākāpo, kea and kiwi alongside our other iconic and threatened national species are at risk under this Government.

“The mask slips as the Minister of Conservation says saving our threatened species would cost too much,” said Conservation spokesperson Priyanca Radhakrishnan.

“This is appalling from the Minister and a kick in the guts to the huge conservation efforts of the sector, which includes NGOs and volunteers all over the country, who are now being told their efforts are ultimately futile.

“Our natural environment is part of New Zealand’s charm. It’s why millions of people travel here. Tama Potaka’s comments don’t make sense environmentally or economically. Once a species is gone, it’s gone forever.  

“The Minister went on to reference the Government’s commitment to protecting 30 percent of New Zealand’s oceans by 2030 as optional.

“This means species like Māui's dolphins, Hector’s dolphins and hoiho penguins are also under threat by this Government.

“He then attempted to defend the Government’s record by pointing to work underway to establish new marine reserves in the South Island and Hauraki Gulf/ Tīkapa Moana Marine Protection Bill – both initiated by Labour.

“We see now why the Government didn’t continue the Jobs for Nature programme which funded conservation roles in the sector, why plans have been scrapped for the Kermadec Ocean sanctuary, and why 6.5% has been cut from the Department of Conservation budget resulting in job losses across the country.

“We’ve already seen a raft of concerning decisions from this Government that shows it does not value our natural environment or wildlife. The Conservation Minister’s comment only further confirms this Government has its priorities wrong,” said Priyanca Radhakrishnan.

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