The National Government should use conservation week as a catalyst to reverse funding cuts to DoC, as evidence mounts that a lack of funding is threatening Kiwi and indigenous Northland forest, the Green Party said today.
“The Government’s hands-off approach is damaging our wildlife and threatening the very existence of some of our most precious species, including the Kiwi who live in indigenous Northland forest,” said Green Party conservation spokesperson Kevin Hague.
“Recent drone footage shows areas of Northland forest canopy stripped bare by possums – a direct result of this Government underfunding DoC pest control.
“DoC cannot ensure protection if its budget is consistently sucked away – funding actually decreased by millions of dollars in Budget 2015.
“The Conservation Week theme this year is Healthy Nature Healthy People. It’s impossible to achieve this goal if entire ecosystems are so unhealthy they’re on the brink of collapse.
“Without Government intervention, pest control measures aren’t taken – and conservation management falls into the hands of corporations and community groups, who sometimes lack the expertise essential for preserving biodiversity.
“Inexperience in protection leads to events such as the takahe shooting. Our trees and animals aren’t a business – they’re our heritage.
“Allowing Northland forest collapse proves the National Government only sees the Kiwi as a brand,” said Mr Hague.