National prioritise invasive species above alpine ecosystems and landscapes

Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage says the National Party’s petition to stop control of Himalayan tahr shows that National doesn’t understand conservation, and is resorting in opposition to a bizarre form of shouting for the sake of political point scoring.

“Truly, a petition by National to “save tahr” is absurd,” Eugenie Sage says.

“Whilst in government, National were missing in action protecting our special alpine landscapes and ecosystems from heavy browsing and trampling by a ballooning population of Himalayan tahr.

“Despite the international importance of New Zealand’s alpine plants, many of which are only found here in Aotearoa, the Department of Conservation was starved of funding and tahr numbers were allowed to explode.

“Once again, this government is having to clean up after nine years of neglect. I am taking the necessary steps to fix the damage done, and making decisions that protect our biodiversity and beautiful indigenous plants. I am proud to stand up for our native taonga in the Ka Tiritiri o Moana/Southern Alps.

“The previous government did not ensure that the limits in the Himalayan Tahr Control Plan from 1993 were kept, and numbers of tahr have ballooned three times higher than allowed.

“We’ve resurrected the Tahr Liasion Group that provides hunters, conservation and other stakeholders with input because we recognise that communities love our alpine landscapes.

“I will continue to engage with the Tahr Liason Group and with hunting groups such the Game Animal Council and NZ Deerstalkers on this important issue.

“I’m not sure if National are aware of the science on this, but tahr are an invasive species that eat their way through our precious native plants. They are destroying the unique New Zealand biodiversity in the Southern Alps, a stunning part of New Zealand that New Zealanders want to protect.

“Would National seriously rather protect invasive tahr than protect our world-renowned natural landscapes? That is what at risk here.

“I suggest National do some homework before continuing to peddle this petition,” Eugenie Sage said.

Latest Conservation Announcements

Story

NZ’s most prestigious conservation award – Loder Cup presented to Graeme Atkins

The Minister of Conservation Minister, Eugenie Sage, today presented Aotearoa New Zealand’s most prestigious conservation award, the Loder Cup, to ...
Read More

Story

New pest lures to protect nature

The Department of Conservation (DOC) is investing $1.4 million to develop new predator lures that would be game-changers for trapping and surveilla...
Read More

Thriving Oceans

Oceans are the lifeblood of our planet and home to thousands of taonga species, providing us with nourishing food to feed our families, supporting ...
Read More

Story

Greens to protect Aotearoa’s oceans with marine sanctuaries, bottom trawling and set-netting restrictions, and action against plastic

The Green Party has released its Thriving Oceans Plan, which would dramatically increase marine protected areas and ban bottom trawling on seamounts. 
Read More

Story

New tools to make nature more accessible

People planning to head outdoors now have a resource that lets them know how accessible an area is for people with varying levels of mobility, Mini...
Read More

Story

More resources for kiwi conservation

New Zealand’s goal of 100,000 kiwi by 2030 is being helped by an extra $19.7 million in funding to accelerate iwi and community efforts to protect ...
Read More