Press Release: Maui’s and Hector’s Dolphin Education Action
Maui’s dolphin campaigners continue their pressure on the Government this week with a march in central Wellington. A lunchtime protest and march from Civic Square to the DoC headquarters this Wednesday targets Conservation Minister Nick Smith.
Organisers say the catalyst for this march, one of a series of protests around the country, is to demand action from the Minister of Conservation.
Christine Rose, Chair of Maui’s & Hector’s Dolphins Education/Action says “Nick Smith needs to be accountable”. “He misled Parliament about the overlap of Maui’s dolphins and the block offered for marine mining for gas and oil”. “In doing so he understated the threats from this activity and justified, by mistruth, an otherwise untenable risk to Maui’s”.
“At the same time he admitted set nets cause about 95% of Maui’s deaths”. But Mrs Rose says “Nick Smith fails his responsibility as Conservation Minister by keeping those nets in most of the dolphin habitat. All the while his Government introduces added threats such as new oil and gas mining”.
“The Government also recently reintroduced ring nets into the Manukau Harbour, known Maui’s habitat, layering threat upon threat’.
“The Government’s position is irrational” says Mrs Rose. “Given the risks, and condemnation of New Zealand by the international community on this issue, and widespread support for better protection here, National are out of step with international, national and scientific opinion”.
Mrs Rose says Wednesday’s march is part of a rolling campaign, part of a wider movement, involving other NGOs and concerned citizens, “and this is a reminder that we will not give up”.
Organisers hope to attract a good lunchtime crowd and will be joined by MPs and representatives of NGOs. Mrs Rose says “We know this is an issue of widespread importance to New Zealanders, and will be followed by a similar march and presentation in John Key’s electorate of Helensville on July 13 at 10am. Other marches in centres around the country are also being planned”.
“Nick Smith is complicit in the demise of Maui’s by failing to protect from avoidable threats within their full range”.
“Maui’s dolphins are on the election agenda, and we seek to ensure New Zealanders have a voice on this critical issue”.