142 species closer to extinction due to DOC funding cuts

New information released today shows the National Government’s erosion of Department of Conservation (DOC) funding has resulted in a major species decline and is placing significant strain on facilities, the Green Party says.

New information released today shows the National Government’s erosion of Department of Conservation (DOC) funding has resulted in a major species decline and is placing significant strain on facilities, the Green Party says.

 

Information obtained under the Official Information Act by the Green Party shows 142 species have moved closer to extinction during National’s time in government.  

 

“National’s spending on conservation has been on average $56 million less per year than the last Labour Government’s. Cumulatively, that’s $336m that DOC has missed out on since John Key moved into the Beehive,” said Green Party conservation spokesperson Kevin Hague.

 

“Our native species and outdoor spaces that New Zealanders love are shouldering the brunt of National’s conservation cuts. 

 

“The kea, Antipodes wandering albatross, and the flesh-footed shearwater have all moved closer to extinction under National’s tenure, along with 139 other species. Each of those species is part of a precious ecosystem that relies on them being present.

 

“Under National, DOC has been increasingly reliant on corporate sponsorship for key projects. Four birds; whio, takahe, kakapo and kiwi; have corporate sponsors to help with their recovery.

 

“Sponsorship can work if you’re a charismatic bird that everyone loves, but if you’re a snail or a caddisfly, you’re on your own.

 

“Funding cuts are putting an enormous strain on frontline staff responsible for maintaining the DOC estate, which is under more pressure than ever due to the tourism boom.

 

“The Government cannot expect tourism to flourish if our facilities are not up to scratch. It’s only a matter of time before something somewhere goes seriously wrong or becomes dangerous.

 

“The Green Party would restore DOC funding to pre-National Government levels, and protect the native species, landscapes and places we love."

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