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Extinction on Key’s watch?

Written By: - Date published: 8:55 pm, September 21st, 2012 - 44 comments
Categories: accountability, Conservation, disaster, john key - Tags:

Clean green 100% pure New Zealand?

Or the only nation in the world to vote against measures to stop the extinction of the world’s rarest dolphins?

The Hector’s dolphins in the seas surrounding John Key’s electorate are the world’s rarest, and their close relatives the Maui dolphins are nearly as endangered.  Such intelligent creatures being allowed to go extinct would be a tragedy and a travesty in any country – in a nation that sells itself on its ecological image more than any other in the world, it’s also horrendous hypocrisy.

But it turns out Key and Kate Wilkinson ordered our 2 votes (out of 576) in the  IUCN’s World Conservation Congress in Korea last week were the only ones against measures to save critically endangered dolphins.

“The New Zealand government has acted shamefully and can no longer claim to be leaders in conservation,” WWF’s marine programme manager Rebecca Bird said.

Labour’s Ruth Dyson said the Government’s vote was a “disgrace”: “it beggars belief that the New Zealand Government could oppose a motion to protect these incredibly vulnerable dolphins in our own waters.”

Kate Wilkinson – like all good National ministers – was unavailable for comment.

Extinction of a species off his electorate will be quite a badge for Key to wear – but one he risks getting if he’s not willing to take their plight seriously.

44 comments on “Extinction on Key’s watch?”

  1. blue leopard 1

    Thats clean green lil ol New Zealind for ya

    Squeak (Last Dolphin crying)

  2. Jared 2

    Well shit, a bill co sponsored by WWF, Iwi and Forest and Bird suggest the following:
    “The World Conservation Congress, at its session in Jeju, Republic of Korea, 6–15 September 2012:
    1. URGES the New Zealand Government to:
    a. Urgently extend dolphin protection measures, with an emphasis on and in particular to banning gill net and trawl net use from the shoreline to the 100 meter depth contour in all areas where Hector’s and Maui’s dolphins are found, including harbours;
    b. To increase immediately the level of monitoring and enforcement with an emphasis on requiring and to require 100 percent observer coverage on any gill net or trawling vessels allowed to operate in any part of the range of Hector’s and Maui’s dolphins until such bans can be implemented; and
    c. To report such action and monitoring and enforcement results;”

    Now consider that Maui’s Dolphins are found between Dargaville and New Plymouth, if the Government (ignoring the fact that you know, the other countries don’t mean shit) would have to agree to pretty much shutting down fisheries down the entire coast of the north island I can sorta see why they are reluctant to vote for this motion.

    Id prefer they took a scientific approach on their own accord, than by being strong armed into a damned if you do damned if you don’t motion.


    “The results from the proposed satellite-tagging project will help to develop models of coastal habitat use by the animals. By combining these models with information on known threats and risks (such as set-net fishing, mining, and acoustic surveying), NIWA scientists will be able to design GIS maps showing areas of conflict that require protection, and areas of non-conflict that can potentially be open to activities such as fishing. The dynamic nature of the maps will foster a more flexible approach to management, taking into account seasonal changes in dolphin distribution and resource use. The goal of this project is to reduce conflicts between people and marine mammals and improve management of multiple-use marine areas. It will help find the balance between potential economic benefits – such as fisheries, aquaculture, and mining – and conservation of an iconic species.”

    • blue leopard 2.1

      Squeeekurgle (A dolphin crying while drowning)

    • BernyD 2.2

      Even a smaller area would be good, they aren’t stupid

      • Jokerman 2.2.1

        within; sheep
        (good things need time)
        sometimes the “civilised” world just makes one want to “scream”?

        • BernyD

          Evil civilised versus good civilised, worth knowing/portaying the difference.
          “Lead by example” has it’s drawbacks under a microscope

          • Jokerman

            every body has a past-and a future
            (consider the nonsense the “Laws” of this country spout)=hypocrisy and division

    • Bill 2.3

      So okay. Why not lay down a conservation area and let scientific data be applied to rolling it back where appropriate?

      And as for ‘shutting down fisheries’. Isn’t that happening anyway due to the incursion of foreign vessels and factory ships off shore? (Y’know, they kind of ‘clean up’ fish stocks and knacker the food chain via by catch, dredge netting and what not in the process.)

    • BernyD 2.4

      do they fish north of reinga? anyone?

    • Populuxe1 2.5

      I can see room for the government to be doing more, such as investing in the development of less dangerous fishing techniques and perhaps reducing the size of fishing areas, but I agree with you. Not just the West Coast of the North Island, but much of the South Island would be affected – with significant detrimental effects to coastal communities.
      And who gives a fuck what 574 countries voted, we are a sovereign nation and this really has very little effect on them (and most of them a hypocrites given what goes on in their own territories)? If 574 countries voted that NZ should become a nuclear waste dump or a penal colony we wouldn’t be hanging our heads in shame for having not voted against our interests. We are the ones that should ultimately be making these decisions and finding solutions that will not fuck up the country even worse, and that may very well take three years of research.

  3. It’s worth noting that “clean, green New Zealand” always was a straightforward lie, whether it was National or Labour doing the lying. And whoever came up with that “100% Pure” slogan (which, to be fair, turned up under Labour, not National) must have to carry a fire extinguisher at all times in case their pants need putting out.

    • IrishBill 3.1

      For a first world (just) nation we are clean and green. That, however, has more to do with the fact we’ve only got four million people in a country the size of the UK and we’ve not had anywhere near as much time to fuck it up as older nations have.

      That said we’re getting close to having used all that environmental capital up which means we either change the way we operate or we give up any right to the green claims. It’s clear which way this government wants to go.

      • Psycho Milt 3.1.1

        Yes. Britain was way more “clean and green” than us back when it had a population of 4 million – ie, back in Shakespeare’s time. Didn’t have much to do with their awesome environmentalist sensitivities, more to do with a lack of the kind of technology needed for making big messes.

        • Colonial Viper

          Sure they were more clean and green, if you liked open sewers, slop being poured on to the streets, and occasional outbreaks of bubonic plague.

          More seriously, the number of people multiplied by their resource and energy use, tends to describe very accurately the demands and waste they put on to their environment. Today each modern person uses more energy in a month than a Shakespearan Briton would have used in a life time.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Today each modern person uses more energy in a month than a Shakespearan Briton would have used in a life time.

            And yet the English still ran out of trees. Of course, they weren’t using them solely for energy.

            Stuart England was so widely deforested that it depended on the Baltic trade for ship timbers, and looked to the untapped forests of New England to supply the need.

            • Populuxe1

              Very true DTB – hence the creation of the New Forest. France was much more careful and I suggest reading the relevant section in Simon Schama’s Landscape and Memory for the broader context.
              While the resource needs of a society change over the centuries, the rapacious greed remains much the same.

      • Murray Olsen 3.1.2

        I’m not so sure we’re clean and green even for a first world nation any more. From what I’ve seen in Germany, for example, they might be ahead of us by now, and they’re working on improving things. We’re working on making things worse, especially with not upsetting dairy farmers. Denmark and Norway are possibly also at least as clean and green as Aotearoa. In my opinion, we have no right to be making green claims whatsoever.

    • Jokerman 3.2

      thats something funny from you Milt

  4. Sanctuary 4

    To paraphrase Steven Joyce – those dolphins are all well and good, but what do they actually do?

    • IrishBill 4.1

      They’re “nice to haves”

    • Jokerman 4.2

      thats funny too!

    • blue leopard 4.3

      “To paraphrase Steven Joyce – those dolphins are all well and good, but what do they actually do?”

      click click click-click click click-click-click-click click-click-click-click click click click
      (Sorry had better not translate this dolphin…might get banned)

  5. Di 5

    Tourists pay money to go on boats hoping to glimpse these rare dolphins.

    Steven Joyce has obviously never seen the tourists clamouring to take photos of these beautiful animals and their delight at watching the dolphins surfing the bowwaves.

    At least dolphins are able to live in their environment without destroying it which is more than humans like Steven Joyce can do.

    • mike e 5.1

      I suppose they can watch the dinosaurs that run the national Party instead!

      • blue leopard 5.1.1

        Not a bad idea…probably noone would believe that any country was run by dinosaurs without witnessing it for themselves! …I think you’re onto something there mike e

    • Populuxe1 5.2

      Do tourists pay enough money to see them, especially when in all likelihood they can’t tell the difference between a dolphin and a porpoise? I suspect the bulk of tourists – which are definitely not ecotourists – would rather be swimming with dolphins on the Gold Coast.
      We really are going to have to move beyond using tourism to justify environmental protection – the tourists will dry up with the oil.

  6. muzza 6

    And what are the sheep going to do about this…….

    They put in place policies which kill human beings, put more into poverty and ruin the environment, so why on earth would anyone expect that duty of care might be extended to the animal world!

    This is a rather vile example at face value!

  7. captain hook 7

    this a government that believes people can eat money.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1


      Things is, Labour are no different in that regard.

    • Populuxe1 7.2

      I think you’ll find they believe people eat fish and that this fact is rather important to our economy.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.2.1

        There’s a difference between the economy and money. Neither NACT nor Labour seem capable of comprehending this difference which is why they keep looking to have more money while the economy crashes from the “rapacious greed”.

  8. infused 8

    Actually read why it happened instead of copying and pasting you douche.

    “The government said action had already been taken to protect the endangered dolphins, and the recommendation was not backed by scientific evidence.”


    “The article has since been edited to make it more sensationalist. Before it said that there were already measures in place to protect them from trawling and that there was no evidence that the fact they were still in decline was due to was they were proposing against (somtheing about fishing). So yeah, it looks bad but there were reasons for the no vote.”

    • Populuxe1 8.1

      Agreed. But National are still a bunch of bastards for many other reasons and more should be done to protect Maui’s and Hector’s Dolphins.

  9. Populuxe1 9

    What about the rest of the fishermen who are surplus or cannot easily be retrained? Replenishing fish stocks where exactly? And what are you going to do when the handful of eco-tourists dries up with the oil?

    • xtasy 9.1

      Go to CUBA!

      • Murray Olsen 9.1.1

        Cuba is on my bucket list. Fidel Castro has a son who is a nuclear physicist. He visited part of our quantum research group, in Canberra. I have no idea how many diplomatic messages were exchanged over this. I wonder if Key would let him into Aotearoa, or is Australia more independent these days?

        • xtasy

          Admittedly Cuba has human rights issues, but apart from that, anything that may be positive in any humble way about that country and it’s people, it is ignored, rubbished and instead quashed by the usual “cold war” type propaganda, putting it in line with North Korea and the likes. Nothing new, especially in NZ and Australia.

  10. mike e 10

    All they have to do is buy some quota and few fishermen out set up a marine park of the coast of Taranaki to the shelf, get those fishermen trained up as eco tourist operators , marine park workers, work on cleaning up environment,developing tourism fish breeding and replenish the other fishing grounds to keep fishermen onside!

    • mike e 10.1

      sailing boats , but countries like the West Indies have a more modern approach to replenishing fishing grounds and we should move from a second world exploitation to the max and a wing and prayer method,like the possibility that we are fishing stocks dangerously to the point of extinction like the possibility with the tooth fish.
      Lots of species aren’t as abundant now as they were in the past that’s a fact look at some early fishing history around New Zealand and the catches of those days were phenomenal!

  11. xtasy 11

    Suppose to Key and sorts it is just like: “Fish and Chips”, the cheaper the better.

    But John, dolphins are NOT fish! Well, bugger off, what can we sell them like then, whales?

  12. Feargal 12

    Clean Green = 100% Pure Bullshit, when the foreign press wake up to the Bullshit Green Lie. We’ve had rammed down our collective throats. Then we’ll see how good the Dairy Cheque is to the economy. – – – – Wake up NZ It’s GREEN because of all the imported Grassland and imported Fertilisers, and 40 million bloody old Heiffers shitting all over it. Oh and it Rains alot here.

    Never was a Island so changed from its’ natural state to its’ present so quickly In the entire History of Humanity.

    • blue leopard 12.1

      …Yeah I liked the way PsychoMilt (above comment 3) put it: “It’s worth noting that “clean, green New Zealand” always was a straightforward lie…”

      …I wonder whether one of the numerous people who have moved their entire lives to NZ will ever sue NZ for false advertising? I am aware of numerous people in this position who feel rather ripped off on this count.

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