There is a saying amongst public servants that you can squeeze an organisation but when the pips start coming out you know you have gone too far.
The Department of Conservation is showing signs of the pips coming out. It used a local chapter of the Deer Stalkers to use split second judgment before deciding if they were shooting pest Pukekos or priceless Takahes.
Both birds look similar. But Takahes are larger and do not fly. They are also facing extinction. There are only 263 of them left. You would think that DOC would be careful when allowing anyone to shoot guns near them. And a Deerstalker is probably good at spotting deers but may struggle to tell the difference between the two birds.
So a bunch of deer stalkers were allowed onto Motutapu Island and shot some Takahe who look like Pukeko which they were meant to shoot.
Couldn’t DOC afford some professional Pukeko cullers? Are they that lacking in cash that they had to let some good old boys with guns go on a shooting spree?
DOC is reporting that the Takahe were killed by shotgun pellets. You know where you fire a cartridge and pellets get sprayed over a wide area. Whoever though that shotguns and not single shots should be used needs to take responsibility.
The Government’s response is to talk about prosecutions of said good old boys for shooting birds that looked very similar to the birds they should have been shooting but were slightly fatter. While using shotguns and firing shotgun pellets. This is a classic example of an attempt to shift the blame.
I get the strong impression the pips are coming out and the future of the Takahe is being compromised because of a lack of resources meaning that cash strapped DOC is making stupid decisions. And the Government needs to wear this, not a bunch of good old boys allowed to shoot shotgun pellets.