Common Sense About Conservation?

Time for a positive emphasis

By Roger Childs

Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage

The reign of the arrogant Maggie Barry is now over and the new Minister is Green MP Eugenie Sage.

The former Minister was a staunch advocate of 1080 poisoning and also helped launch the ludicrously named  Predator Free New Zealand.

Hopefully with the new government in office and fresh leadership in the Department of Conservation (DoC), there can be a shift in policy from killing to preservation.

A recent letter to the editor of the DomPost, from a Kapiti resident, quoted figures from DoC about the many deaths of bird of the year kea, from 1080 poisoning.

The carnage needs to stop.

Stop poisoning the land

The sad reality is that over 50 years of dropping sodium fluoroacetate has probably killed more birds than it has saved. Unfortunately, DoC nailed its colours to the mast in the late 20th century and would obviously suffer a huge loss of face if it admitted that it had been wrong all these years.

However, they need to put themselves through it for the sake of the wildlife. Obviously there are vested interests in the 1080 industry who won’t be happy.

Some time ago Investigate ran an article called What’s Up Doc? questioning the wisdom of continuing to use 1080 when most of the world bans it. Unfortunately mainstream media are reluctant to cover the topic, a situation that is timid and very sad.

New Zealand First supports a ban, and hopefully Minister Sage can bite the bullet.

Time to end the Predator Free New Zealand nonsense

Predator: an animal that hunts, eats and kills other animals. Cambridge Dictionary

The natural world of fauna is based around food chains and predators. It is a reality of nature that big birds/animals/fish/insects eat smaller ones. So the name for the programme to get rid of pests is illogical and has made the country a laughing stock in the scientific world.

Has been here since the 1830s, so now a native which needs a fair go?

One of the key targets for Predator Free New Zealand is the possum which as a herbivore is no predator. It is also an important resource.

Possum industries employ 1500 people and earn more than $130 million each year. Demand for products such as clothing, gloves, footwear, furnishing, cat food and dog rolls is increasing.

So Eugenie, let’s terminate Predator Free New Zealand and give the possum a fair go!

Common sense about exotics

In recent years there has been a big push to plant native trees, shrubs and flaxes. Hundreds of conservation organisations around the country have been working hard to increase the greening of New Zealand.  This is great, but often there has been a reluctance to plant exotics.

Some of the organisations have been called restoration groups, but this term makes no sense as there is no way that we can restore the massive areas of forests early Polynesian immigrants, and later British and European settlers, burned and cleared.

We have a huge forestry industry which is largely based on a tree that is native to northern California. No-one is suggesting rooting these out.

Let’s get a balance on what we plant and acknowledge that the tree covered environment of centuries ago cannot be restored.

Obviously it is desirable to reduce gorse, wild blackberry and some other undesirable imports, but let’s support the concept that a mixed pattern of native and exotic flora and fauna in our ecosystem, is a very acceptable reality.

Hopefully our new Minister of Conservation can provide leadership in promoting practical and sensible environmental policies in relation to 1080, Predator Free NZ and exotic planting.




Here’s what the Green’s, Greenpeace, Dept of Conservation, Ministry for the Environment, Forest & Bird and the NZ Fish & Game Council have so far achieved:

• 70% of our native trees have been logged
• 60% of our historic wetlands have been destroyed
• All our rivers and wetlands are polluted and unlikely to ever recover
• All our endemic wildlife is racing towards extinction
• Their support for 1080 has so far eliminated over 15,000 domestic animals
• Their support for 1080 has eliminated all invertebrates in our rivers and native bush – destroying our lucrative trout fishing industry, eliminated our million-year old frogs and destroyed the essential diet of Whio
• They have extracted large sums of money to keep themselves employed
• Have successful destroyed game bird hunting
• They have established deep seated racism & radicalisation
• Eliminated at least 9 shooting sports retail equipment suppliers & one major shooting sports equipment importer
• Eliminated 200-years of NZ History in less that 10-years – by banning the use of lead shot for waterfowl hunting
• Promoted a ban on the use of lead shot & lead projectiles on all shooting ranges
• Adopted the United Nations insane philosophy of taking firearms from private individuals
• And MUCH more!

Many more problems will be generated unless we have national groups and politicians working to eliminate all this nonsense!

Neil Hayes QSM Royal Chartered Environmentalist