Predator free a fantastic goal – but…

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, July 26th, 2016 - 231 comments
Categories: Conservation, john key, national, science, useless - Tags: , ,

As widely reported, National have, for a change, announced a laudable and ambitious goal:

New Zealand to be Predator Free by 2050

That’s why I am today announcing we have adopted the goal of a Predator Free New Zealand. By 2050 every single part of New Zealand will be completely free of rats, stoats and possums.

This is the most ambitious conservation project attempted anywhere in the world, but we believe if we all work together as a country we can achieve it. …

Wonderful goal! And the resourcing?

So the Crown will initially invest $28 million over four years to establish a new joint venture company called Predator Free New Zealand Ltd to drive the programme, alongside the private sector.

Ah. $28 Million is about $1 per hectare. It’s a ludicrous figure, as the reaction from various folk on Twitter below makes clear. Furthermore, it depends on a miraculous breakthrough:

And we will have developed a breakthrough science solution capable of removing at least one small mammal predator from the mainland entirely.

No one can guarantee breakthough science solutions – especially while AgResearch is being gutted!

So this is just feel-good nonsense then. Soon to be added to Key’s long list of such announcements, like a cycleway the length of NZ, a secret plan to end Japanese whaling, the War on P, our emissions reduction (hah!) targets, plans to be a “financial hub”, the promise of pandas, and so on and so on.

Feel-good promises for 2050 are easy. Achieving them is hard. Which is a pity, because this was a really really good promise.


231 comments on “Predator free a fantastic goal – but…”

  1. Paul 1

    It’s a useful distraction for this corrupt regime.
    Key’s media puppets will ensure this keeps the housing crisis off the headlines for a while.

    • Johan 1.1

      Key changing tack and rearranging the chairs on the Titanic;-))

    • Rob 1.2

      Exactly, surly people can see it for what it is! pipe dreams and diversion. no sense at all.

    • mosa 1.3

      Predator free NZ ?
      Does that include the National party and its current Leader and donors ? we couldnt be that lucky !
      I dont want too wait untill 2050 !
      This sounds like National pm Bolger and his National party plan for NZ “the path to 2010” promised in the mid nineties where like Key would deliver a magical land of wealth and opportunities where every kiwi would have a stake in their country and the “Decent Society” would be a reality.
      Like the brighter future its all a lie unless you are rich, funny that.

  2. It was a bizarre WTF moment watching that on the news. This government won’t fund existing pest eradication methods or scientific research to any great extent, and yet it’s braying about plans to eradicate rats, stoats and possums on the mainland using unnamed scientific breakthroughs within 34 years. How could the assembled journos not be laughing in these lying arseholes’ faces?

    I was confused, but Danyl McLachlan wasn’t. This is just another “secret plan to end whaling in the southern oceans” photo op. For some reason, the nation’s media feels obliged to pretend it’s something other than an embarrassing farce. Maybe they enjoy looking stupid? It’s beyond me.

    • weka 2.1

      They’re also trying to privatise conservation.

      • Psycho Milt 2.1.1

        I forgot that part. Presumably there will actually be $28 mil channeled to NACT cronies before the project is never heard from again.

      • marty mars 2.1.2

        Yep DoC and its functions privatised – contracts to mates, failure of policy, blame Greens and Labour.

      • Jones 2.1.3

        This to me is the principal objective. When I heard this on the radio this morning I recalled a conversation with a National Park Ranger a couple of years ago about how DoC were looking to part-privatise park management and conservation. This is just another opportunity for National to channel funds to their mates. More crony-capitalism.

      • Michelle 2.1.4

        Yip soon the pnats crony mates will own part of our conservation estates (DOC land ) when they see a buck to be made they will sell anything and everything. These peoples greed knows no bounds and as far as I am concerned the mugs that voted these greedy selfish pigs in need to pull your heads in now before it is too late.

    • DH 2.2

      A quick search reveals that PREDATOR FREE NEW ZEALAND LIMITED was registered in June 21016, with 100% shareholder Robert George Mappin FENWICK who looks to be the Rob Fenwick of Living Earth fame.

      It could be just the Nats pandering to one of their longtime supporters, wasn’t Fenwick the architect of the blue-green initiative?

  3. dv 3

    Cant find anything on Stuff or the herald!

    And re the scientific solution what is the progress on methane reduction from cows promise by Key a while back.

    Does that mean there will be no natz left by 2050!

    Really really weird

  4. Ad 4

    The people who will be really complaining privately are those in the Labour and Green parties that failed to convince their own to do it first. It was a complete gimme and you all know it.

    So they took it. More fool everyone else.

    This is a policy that connects together thousands of already-existing volunteers into a single national and National policy. That is political gold.

    Would anyone dare to think National could have the two boldest conservation moves in the last 20 years: the largest marine reserve ever, and a predator-free New Zealand goal?

    They have already gone after soft greenie liberals with cycleway funding on a massive scale, now they are reaching straight for the Greens’ voters even harder.

    It also connects together very disparate NGOs from the Morgan Foundation to Ark in the Park into a single national cause. They will make conservation philanthropy much more popular. That also bringing donors who would otherwise not go near a political party much closer to National – exceptionally good politics.

    No problem, argue about the half-truths and lack of funding.

    But worst of all, it’s the right thing to do.

    • Stuart Munro 4.1

      If Labour and the Greens had done it they’d be doing it for real. That would be vastly more expensive and the public would be have reason to be annoyed.

      1080 is no magic bullet – it takes lengthy diverse and integrated pest control to clear even small areas. This policy is a lie and a joke.

      • Puckish Rogue 4.1.1

        If being the key word here, they haven’t and National have stolen a march. I think this is a good start, its probably something (like WFF) that no incoming government will want to dismantle and incoming governments will probably only increase funding (especially if it looks popular)

        At the very least its very good, smart politics from National and no one saw it coming

        • Halfcrown 4.1.1.2

          With respect to you Puckish, I don’t think that is smart, and as for Barry saying it is reliant on future technology not yet invented, It is like saying ” I want to build a block of flats with anti gravity lifts in it, and until they are invented I wont start.” That was a stupid statement but what would you have expected from that quarter.
          If National is really concerned about the NZ they can for starters re employ some of the staff that was reduced in Bio Security that has let the Willow Aphid Varroa Bee mite and some other nasties into this country. Also they can stop the
          deforestation of our pine plantations that are being turned into not needed large polluting dairy farms.

          I just caught the end of the conversation this morning and being half asleep I don’t know if it was on the radio or the television so I cannot quote. A guy was saying you have to be very careful in the eradication. He said remove the stoats first you will have a plague of rats which will do greater harm as the stoats do help to keep the rat population down.

          Reminds me years ago in Melbourne they had a similar thing with cats over the Lyre Bird, they soon found that the rats were doing just as much if not more damage than the cats.

          Which brings me back to my point If they are serious about NZ Lets see them start first in the area’s I have suggested.

          • Siobhan 4.1.1.2.1

            Clearly this whole ‘Predator Free’ announcement is a shiny bauble to keep the so called Blue-Greens happy, and Nationals special mate Mr Rob Fenwick, and its a feel good environmental initiative that won’t set the Farmers off into a state of hysteria.
            But it is interesting that they had the foresight to keep cats out of the conversation. They’re leaving that hot potato to Gareth.

            One wonders what the feral and domestic cats will be munching on if there are no rats.

            But seeing as this project is, unfortunately, a total farce, I guess we needn’t worry too much.

        • UncookedSelachimorpha 4.1.1.3

          FIFY:

          At the very least its very good, smart cynical politics from National and no one saw it coming

        • Kevin 4.1.1.4

          Can you seriously be this gullible?

          This is lunatic fringe stuff. I don’t even think they believe this is doable. It is nothing but a giant distraction to take the heat away from the fact they have completely lost the plot of the housing crisis.

          If you are going to come up with an idea to distract, make it a fucking whopper that is so unbelievable that people WILL believe it.

          • Macro 4.1.1.4.1

            Yep I think they are taking more notice of the UMR poll than the RM and seeing that they will be out on their ear next election. This is nothing more than a cynical desperate attempt to curry favour and …… ohhhh! look there is a panda!

      • marty mars 4.1.2

        Yep it is a lie and a joke. Very cynical move by the gnats.

        • Chuck 4.1.2.1

          Ad’s summary of the Predator free policy is comprehensive (post 4), you would do well to read it again.

          This is why John Key and National are looking like having yet another term in Government come 2017.

          Lots of votes in this from urban housewife’s (as an example) who want to think they are / or are “Green”…

          John Key commented: “This is the most ambitious conservation project attempted anywhere in the world, but we believe if we all work together as a country we can achieve it.”

          Green Party conservation spokesman Kevin Hague “said he welcomed the target, but said research showed it would cost $9b to make New Zealand predator-free.”

          Notice the difference?? on one side Key is saying ” if we all work together as a country we can achieve it.”

          On the other Hague is putting up a road block “but said research showed it would cost $9b to make New Zealand predator-free.”

          People want to aspire to achieve goals, funding will follow…

      • weston 4.1.3

        Yep doc is good at providing totally unsubstantiated stats re 25 mil birds taken by preditors each year and the cost to the country of so called pest species is 3.5 bil ??really ??presumably we the sheeple are supposed to go gosh better do whatever the fuck you want then and if you think 28 mil is gonna fix it you are sooooo wonderfull .No doubt be good for the poison manufacturers tho theyll have a good few years

    • Rob 4.2

      You can’t force poisons etc onto private land. This is absolute brain dead. They can’t even protect dolphins, whales etc what chance have they got of getting rid of rats.

      • weka 4.2.1

        You can force pest control though (regional councils already do). It’s up to the land owner to manage, so if they don’t want to use poison they have to do something else.

        • Robert Guyton 4.2.1.1

          You’d not be able to force landowners to rid their properties of rats, mice, stoats and possums, weka (not weka, though they are predators, yes?), not in a million years. Townies, for starters, would laugh any agency that tried, off the planet.

          • weka 4.2.1.1.1

            I completely agree Robert. And let’s not forget that that won’t stop National from enforcing stupid shit. For instance at the moment regional councils can require pest control but they don’t say how you have to do it. What if National legislates that as part of it grand gesture?

    • Pat 4.3

      Breaking news!!!!!…..Donald Trump announced this week that he was setting up a charity to guarantee world peace and harmony (and end the effects of climate change) by 2020 if elected and he was personally going to donate a thousand dollars to kick start the whole process.

    • weka 4.4

      “But worst of all, it’s the right thing to do.”

      Except experts in the field say it’s not. Do you think the scientists who have come out criticising the announcement are incompetent? Intellectually biased by their politics? Stupid?

      http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ourchangingworld/audio/201809596/predator-free-nz-ambitious-and-under-funded

      Favouring Crosby Textor smarts over actual, real world conservation, that’s just dumb.

      • Ad 4.4.1

        Are those experts saying that the goal of eradicating all pests from New Zealand is a bad thing?

        • Kevin 4.4.1.1

          Not bad. Just plain fucking stupid because it is not achievable.

          I have a plan to eradicate dust mites. All I need is a few million dollars…

          • Ad 4.4.1.1.1

            Wait until Budget 2017 and the Greens and Labour have to vote the relevant Appropriations down. Key will kill the Opposition off making them all swallow dead rats.

            • weka 4.4.1.1.1.1

              I’m not sure what you are getting at Ad. If you accept that experts say it’s not possible, then your argument appears to be that National are cleverer than L/G because they know how to sell the Emperor’s new clothes to the public.

              No-one is saying making NZ predator-free is a bad thing. They’re saying it’s not possible at this time and that what National are doing is wrong.

              • Ad

                I definitely don’t accept it’s not possible.
                I can guarantee you can find people who thought it was never going to be possible to eradicate all pests off Macquarrie Island, or South Georgia.

                I remember experts telling us that about plenty of stuff wasn’t possible over my lifetime. They just look like fools now – especially the scientists.

                The principle opposition to predator-free zones being expanded isn’t funding. It’s people and communities who oppose it because of irrational fears about property rights. You can have all the funding in the world lined up, and people just band together and kill it flat.

                • Ad – I wonder what pathway you see for the freeing of New Zealand from domestic cats? Being predators and enjoyers of tui and bellbird drumsticks, breasts and assorted gibbets. Seems a difficult challenge, but you are up-beat about a predator-free New Zealand and maybe have an inkling of how John might roll that one out, without losing any political capital.

                • “The principle opposition to predator-free zones being expanded isn’t funding. It’s people and communities who oppose it because of irrational fears about property rights. You can have all the funding in the world lined up, and people just band together and kill it flat.”

                  “I definitely don’t accept it’s not possible.”

                  Expanded to include the whole country and every predator and you think THAT is possible? I don’t think you have really thought it through.

            • miravox 4.4.1.1.1.2

              It’s not possible to make NZ predator free by 2050 AND keep the already-compromised conservation estate as it is (without the predators).

              Finding what the changes to the conservation estate will be is the key to understanding what this policy is about and this is where Labour and The Greens will be concentrating their efforts, I presume.

      • Hanswurst 4.4.2

        +1. On Planet Ad, it would be political genius for John Key to stand up and say, “I have a vision of world peace by 2040”. Andrew Little and the Greens would have been “caught napping” or “flat-footed” or something. Of course, if Andrew Little did actually come out and say anything bold, vague and impractical, he would be decrying it as “unicorn-shits-rainbows”-stupid.

        • marty mars 4.4.2.1

          Yep key announced world peace imminent, people working on a machine to sort it… WOW key is a hero to the world!!!

          • Ad 4.4.2.1.1

            You’ve forgotten what it means to be a New Zealander

            • marty mars 4.4.2.1.1.1

              Dont try and insult me with that stupid line use your bloody imagination

              • Ad

                National just have.
                Try proposing something just as powerful to one of the other parties.

                Something as big as going Nuclear Free.

                This is National’s version of that.
                It will be globally that big.

                • Lol I don’t think so oh hopeful onr

                • weka

                  “National just have.
                  Try proposing something just as powerful to one of the other parties.

                  Something as big as going Nuclear Free.

                  This is National’s version of that.
                  It will be globally that big.”

                  Ok, I think you’ve really gone off the edge there. Nuclear Free was a grass-roots movement that had the power to change government. There is absolutely no comparison with what National are doing unless all you are looking at is the PR. Which I suspect is true.

                  I reckon the strength of reaction against National’s proposal is precisely because so many people still remember what NZ is. And it’s not this. It’s not manipulation, it’s not pie in the sky ideas to hide reality, it’s not the neoliberali agenda. I really hope this backfires on National, because if there is one thing that NZers still hold dear it’s conservation. Having National cast it’s beady neoliberal eye over it so overtly is going to make a lot of people uncomfortable.

                  And let’s not forget how well they’ve done with housing, education, welfare etc.

                  • Ad

                    Predator-free areas are fully grass-roots led initiatives. Ark In The Park has many thousands of volunteers. As do they all. I can understand why, if one opposes National no matter what, you wouldn’t want this to work.

                    But there are many thousands of volunteers who already do want it to work.

                    • weka

                      I don’t care whose proposal it is and would have the same criticisms if this was Labour (who I could see doing something like this with less of the crony capitalism). And I do want it to work (it being predator free NZ), I just don’t think it can (it being this proposal). Lots of people who know what they are talking about agree.

                      When you frame my argument as being hating on National and thus not wanting it to work, I think you are trying to marginalise my argument because you can’t address it in any other way.

                      Yes, predator-free and pest control initiatives have often come from the community. But that’s not what this proposal is about despite the proposal involving some groups, and I don’t see it as being generated from the community in the same way that nuclear free was.

                • Hanswurst

                  Yawn. I remember the last time you said something along the lines of “Labour and the Greens will really have to wake up and up their game to combat this bold and vote-winning policy”. Funny thing is, I’ve forgotten what the policy was.

                • “going Nuclear Free” required of us to say no to visits by foreign nuclear-powered and weapon-bearing ships.

                  Let’s go predator-free by saying no to visits from foreign rats, stoats and weasels – no more predators! no more predators, end predator visits now!

                • weston

                  Nah its just one little bump of bee poop on the windscreen of ONE car

            • adam 4.4.2.1.1.2

              A unicorn huger?

      • Rob 4.4.3

        As j/key has said in the past, if you don’t like what the scientist says find another one you agree with.

    • b waghorn 4.5

      if I was labour I would grab it and run ” JOBS JOBS JOBS” A 10 man crew in every town in nz doing 40 hours a week killing pests .

      • weston 4.5.1

        only thing they would be able to kill is possums ie the lowest hanging fruit and the so called pest doing the least harm while the real dangerous pests the mustilids laugh all the way to the birds nests

        • b waghorn 4.5.1.1

          One person could run a 1000 bait boxes ,as they have kill traps so don’t need checking every day .
          Don’t worry though no government is actually going make jobs for small town nz , not enough votes in it for them.

          • mauī 4.5.1.1.1

            1 x DOC 200 trap every hectare (or every 100 metres) for all of the conservation estate (8 million hectares). So 8 million traps that would have to be checked every few days and reset and you’re on the way to eliminating rats from 30% of New Zealand. To get all the rats you might need traps every 50 or 25 metres so that could balloon out to 32 million traps for 30% of New Zealand just for rats. And maybe 5-10% of that area is going to be too dangerous or unreachable on foot, because NZ is full of steep hill country and river gorges. It’s looking like a tough assignment and might just remain a dream.

            You can see why they use 1080, and I think they’ll try and use it increasingly because of that cost factor and accessiblity issues.

            • b waghorn 4.5.1.1.1.1

              Just to be clear i think total eradication is impossible, but i believe in the need for make work and it’s a win win if employment gets brought to the rural towns and pests get knocked down as well.
              In the last 4 years i’ve lived in ohura and taumarunui and possums are a few and far between ,down from huge numbers in the past. I also trapped in the hills for doc once and after 3 months of trapping we had over 400 ha to the point where only 1 possum was caught in the monitor .

    • Graeme 4.6

      “But worst of all, it’s the right thing to do.”

      And the senior Nats must hate it. In some areas they are being forced to be the best Labour / Green government New Zealand has seen. Note I said some areas, there’s still room for improvement there John.

      The biggest difference between National and the Labour / Green block is the National Party’s drive for power, they will do anything that is required to gain and stay in power. If that means out flanking the left, not a problem, do it. You could say that John Key is going to rid New Zealand of rats by getting his MPs and party members to eat them all.

      We shouldn’t be so despondent though, it’s MMP working as designed. The system makes governments responsive to public opinion and they have to move with it. So you get government from and by the opposition. Opposition parties should be proud of their achievements over the last few years.

      But getting back to this announcement. It seems to be focused at developing, or rolling out new technology in invasive species control that will make order of magnitude improvements in efficiency and affordability. That’s what is required, current technology is just too hard. Some of the ideas around gender restriction or selection appear promising. There was a researcher a few years ago doing it with mice at a lab scale.

      • Ad 4.6.1

        “John Key is going to rid New Zealand of rats by getting his MPs and party members to eat them all.”

        Good line.

        Re currnet research, the link from Weka is helpful.
        I particularly like the self-resetting gas-fired traps.

        Anyone recall Anderton’s proposal re Possums?
        It’ll come around soon enough.

        • adam 4.6.1.1

          That was what I was thinking too.

          Did’nt the alliance already purpose this with possums? And didn’t the media and the national party crucify them?

          At this point, if I was the Greens, I’d be thanking national for picking up on a piece of their classical platform.

          • Chuck 4.6.1.1.1

            “At this point, if I was the Greens, I’d be thanking national for picking up on a piece of their classical platform.”

            Sure…I can see the Greens jumping for joy this morning that its the Government that has announced this policy and not them.

            • Macro 4.6.1.1.1.1

              The Greens approach to politics is quite different from what what you obviously think it is. There has been a number of social and environmental issues that have been initially proposed by the Greens and taken up by Government.
              Insulation in houses
              Cycleway
              Cleaning up toxic sites
              Investment in solar PV and solar hot water heating.
              the recent commission on dyslexia
              to name a few.
              So long as the objective is reached it doesn’t matter who implements it, it is the end that is important not the praise.

              • Chuck

                “So long as the objective is reached it doesn’t matter who implements it, it is the end that is important not the praise.”

                Which I call BS on…if that was the Greens objective they would be able to work with either National or Labour. The Greens would have much more influence and ability to have their ideas implemented.

                If it was as you say…the objective implemented is the end goal…not who implements it.

                Now with the Labour / Greens “MOU” these types of policy’s from the Government blunt that agreement.

                However I do agree in the past the Government has taken up Green proposals and good on them for doing so.

                • weka

                  The Greens are able to work with National. And have done.

                • Macro

                  hmmmm You seem to conveniently overlook the MOU that the Greens had with National after the 2008 election – no doubt because it doesn’t fit your bias and prejudice towards the left.

                  • Chuck

                    Not even remotely the same guys…

                    “The Labour Party and the Green Party have announced today they have signed an historic agreement to work cooperatively to change the Government.”

                    “The National Party and the Green Party wish to work together to develop policy and legislation in areas of common interest.”

                    • Macro

                      🙄
                      talk about shifting goalposts.
                      Sorry Chucky – I realise that reference went whoosh over your head but really…. do you find people sometimes don’t take you very seriously?

                    • Chuck

                      Macro I assume you know how to read and think…this is school 101 type of stuff.

                      But go on tell me how the Greens going cap in hand to National trying to work on legislation in areas of common interest is THE SAME as offering to support National in Government.

                      I will help you out…the first one they get some crumbs the second they have real clout (and a minister or 2) to demand a number of Green policy is acted upon.

                      It also means Labour cannot take the Greens for granted…hey presto all of a sudden the Greens have more influence in any Lab/Gr coalition.

                      So come on Macro get that grey matter working between your ears 🙂

            • Graeme 4.6.1.1.1.2

              “Sure…I can see the Greens jumping for joy this morning that its the Government that has announced this policy and not them.”

              When viewed from the National Party culture or power at any cost, yes. However I thing that most Greens will be very pleased that they have influenced public opinion enough that policy progress, and announcements like this happen. The centre is moving over into Labour / Green territory and national is following. The real question is how far can National go in that direction before it’s lust for power takes it out of it’s ideological base and an implosion occurs.

              • Chuck

                “The real question is how far can National go in that direction before it’s lust for power takes it out of it’s ideological base and an implosion occurs.”

                That’s the beauty of this type of policy Graeme…its not a core right nor left subject. Most NZ’ers would like to think our wildlife and fauna will be protected.

                Soft Green voter now has a reason to think about ticking the blue box.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Interesting choice of words. Personally, I’d prefer that they were actually protected. This government tells too many lies for me to think anything of the sort based on this cynical political stunt.

                  The outcome will be millions of taxpayers dollars into the owner/donor trough, and that’s it.

            • weston 4.6.1.1.1.3

              why would they jump for joy if its a stupid policy ??

              • Chuck

                What you think is a stupid policy does not mean others don’t.

                And that’s the same for me as well, what I think is a good policy you may not and vice versa.

                • weston

                  Its stupid i.m.o. because it lumps possums in with far more problematic species like stoats etc . possums make money for us and are a valuable resource so why would we want to erradicate them that just seems stupid to me .If somethings not well thought out doesnt that make it stupid ?And if we the public are gonna get all excitited by wild proclimations of politicians like donald trump im gonna build a wall etc and john key we gonna be preditor free by 2050 (with fuck all to substantiate the claim ) doesnt that make US appear stupid ??

        • Graeme 4.6.1.2

          The ensuing indigestion and explosive flatulence from the rodent diet may not be pretty however.

        • weka 4.6.1.3

          “I particularly like the self-resetting gas-fired traps.”

          Yep. There is a lot of really good development happening around conservation in NZ despite what National have been doing. If you want to look at being world leaders look at NZ’s work on using islands to preserve species because species need a whole ecosystem to exist within (and then the consequential pest control tech development).

          The really appalling thing about what National are doing is that the government could have done something brilliant here and they didn’t. It’s all smoke and mirrors.

    • Leftie 4.7

      But National are all talk and no action Ad. It never turns out like the Nats say it will.

      • Ad 4.7.1

        You may well be right.
        The truth will be Budget 2017.

        I have to say that setting bait traps in Ark in the Park is incredibly satisfying.

        Anyone want to do something small and simple that gets you well out off the beaten track, find your nearest predator-free organisation and go help. It’s fantastic fun – and then you get to see the maps of all the bird counts going up.

    • reason 4.8

      I heard a rumour …. that they are using a new company Mike Sabin has set up to do this worthy and noble job …………….. It’s called Predator-Con .

      Some Possums have heard what’s in store for them and already booked air tickets back to Australia ……….. and thats before the pamphlet drops had even started .

  5. mauī 5

    Judging by this brief press release from the originators of the idea, you can bet there was thorough consultation by the government before going public… not.

    http://predatorfreenz.org/what-we-do/news-release/

    • ianmac 5.1

      I think that Predator Free NZ is a National Party Blue/green set up 2013. No doubt most of the cash will be funneled through them.

      • mauī 5.1.1

        Thanks ianmac, hadn’t looked at the list of trustees before. I had always thought it was more a community based initiative but lots of people in high places there. You’re probably right.

  6. weka 6

    Alison Balance’s overview of the announcement, what works with pest control and what doesn’t, and the problems are with this policy. She’s a scientist btw. It includes some detail from the DOC site about the policy.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ourchangingworld/audio/201809596/predator-free-nz-ambitious-and-under-funded

    • Ad 6.1

      She points particularly to the community as one of the hardest obstacles. Eg Stewart Island, Great Barrier.
      On the money there

  7. Mike Bond 7

    How about the policy to sort out the housing crisis in 3 years as Mr Little stated? How about building 100 000 houses as a policy? How about sorting poverty out in the first term of governance? Easy to say when you know you will not be winning any election soon!

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1

      So the thing to do is to go through the opposition’s figures with a fine toothed comb, then abuse anyone who does the same for the government’s. In this way, you can be a better embodiment of National Party values, and you will find committing fraud much easier.

    • You don’t seem to appreciate just how ridiculous the government’s announcement is. A more apt comparison would be Andrew Little claiming his government would build a million houses via unspecified scientific breakthroughs, with a track record of reducing the funding available to Housing NZ and scientific research.

      • Mike Bond 7.2.1

        So their promise to build 100 000 houses falls into the same category you mention, as does their promise to sort out the housing crisis in their first term of government! All pie in the sky promises!!!!

        • One Anonymous Bloke 7.2.1.1

          In summation, the predator free announcement is a lie, and Labour did it too.

          This series of comments by Mike Bond follows a pattern: the Blabbermouth Lusk approach to politics of deliberately poisoning the well, in order to reduce electoral engagement and the turn-out come election time.

          • Mike Bond 7.2.1.1.1

            Two comments is now a “series of comments”? Feeling the pressure I see.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 7.2.1.1.1.1

              Well played: ignore the substance, go for pedantry instead.

        • Psycho Milt 7.2.1.2

          So their promise to build 100 000 houses falls into the same category you mention…

          It doesn’t. But thanks for agreeing that this bullshit story from the government is pie in the sky.

          Also, it’s interesting that you should characterise such pie-in-the-sky bullshitting as “Easy to say when you know you will not be winning any election soon!” You’re assuming National won’t be winning the next one, then?

  8. Michelle 8

    Who is getting the contract the PPP probably one of there mates and all of a sudden they are concerned about Doc when they cut all there funding. Funny how they can turn on a pinhead they are the predators we have to get rid of. 2050 what a joke because key and the other predators will be long gone and we all have to live with there unprecedented mess

    • Stuart Munro 8.1

      It will be futureproofing the rort for when they leave government. Labour & Greens cancel the 1080 drops – the Gnats get to mock their environmental policies. Shows the Gnats know they’re gone though.

  9. Gerald 9

    Lofty aims, but hands up all those who trust John Key!

    • Puckish Rogue 9.1

      You can trust John Key in that if he thinks there’s a decent amount of votes in it then it’ll happen

      • marty mars 9.1.1

        Yep that is it. Forget the actual policies or even a desire to make things better – NO – it is all about votes and that is why key and his cronies are lowlifes.

        • Puckish Rogue 9.1.1.1

          Very good, John Key is a lowlife but how will that stop him from winning another term in government, it won’t it might make you feel better but it won’t stop National when they announce feel good policies like this

          If Lab/Greens want to stop National getting another term then they’d better put their thinking caps on and come up with a better plan then this

          • marty mars 9.1.1.1.1

            It wont stop him – too many identify with his lowlifeness. Its funny how craven his supporters have become – that will be the downfall of this govt and any legacy key has accumulated. Only dim city folk, political pigeons, and those seeking the contracts would believe it – everyone else knows it is another lie.

            • Puckish Rogue 9.1.1.1.1.1

              So basically you’ve given up? National is trying to do something no other party in NZ has (a fourth term) and yet you think its a done deal for them

              Heres what the Left need to do:

              Stop barking at every passing car (that’s more Labour)
              Stop making up policy on the hoof (again Labour)
              Sit down and think of a couple of issues and concentrate on them (the housing is a good one for them for example), fully cost them first and work out the problems before announcing it

              That right there will do more to boost Labour/Green then whatever it is Labours doing at the moment

              • Who cares about the fourth term? Apart from flunkys.

                I don’t disagree about some things the opposition could do but cynical, pretend policies are not the answer. Housing, feeding people, building resilience and capacity to adjust us while the world changes would be good platforms and policy areas imo

              • “Here’s what the Left need to do” the morning call of the Puckish Rogue.

                Here’s what the Right need to do: stop deceiving New Zealanders.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  Is it fun scoring points while National heads towards another term?

                  • Is it fun cheerleading a deception?

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      All things being equal, in this case both when sides are wrong, its always better to be on the winning side

                      When you control the treasury benches you can a whole lot more things done, in case you needed a reason as to why winning is important

                    • more things done doesn’t mean squat if people are worse off and less prepared for the future

              • Stuart Munro

                Here’s what the left need to do:

                Ignore the menkurt ideologues of the extreme right.

          • reason 9.1.1.1.2

            Nationals Predator-Con has a plan ????????

            Bullshit announcements and trolls saying fairy dust is real do not count as plans in my book ……….

      • Hanswurst 9.1.2

        Just like the cycleway. Yeah.

  10. Draco T Bastard 10

    I like >a href=”https://twitter.com/Imabadmuthafkr/status/757672263625822208″>this one:

    We need to kick the neoLib investors out of the NZ Market, Rats, stoats and possums ain’t the biggest threat to environment #PredatorFreeNZ

  11. “Predator-Free New Zealand”

    Our native falcon, karearea, is a predator, as is ruru, the morepork.

    • marty mars 11.1

      And spiders and fish and insects…

      Just so big lie – the best ones apparently.

    • Hanswurst 11.2

      Anything that preys on anything else is a predator. That is what makes this announcement so bold, vague and impractical.

    • mauī 11.3

      Kārearea and morepork don’t cause species extinctions though, other mammalian predators (including us) already have and will continue to.

    • I hadn’t noticed the “predator”-free fail! These clowns don’t even know what it is that they’re trying to eradicate using pocket change and some made-up sciency stuff.

      • weka 11.4.2

        it gets even better (ie worse). As someone points out upthread, if you take out one species, others will increase. If they’re targeting stoats, rats and possums, what will happen to the mouse population? How will that affect those ecosystems. Not just the birds, but other species and the interplay between them all. Will cats move into the niche left behind? Hedgehogs?

        This is why conservation should be being done by a dedicated government department that is underpinned by research scientists. Once you get feel good agenda as the priority eg let’s save the birds! then the viability becomes skewed.

        Which isn’t to say we shouldn’t be aiming for ‘predator’ free. We just should be doing it with some actual ecological intelligence rather than ideology.

  12. Key will soon be “announcing” the shiny, new “CRISPR” technology as the key to beating the rodents!

    • It probably will be a big help in pest eradication, but it’s unlikely to be developed by NZ scientists because “Oh, wow! Techno-fear!”

      • Robert Guyton 12.1.1

        How, Psycho Milt, will CRISPR be a “big help in pest eradication”?

        • Psycho Milt 12.1.1.1

          Note the “Trojan female” proposal in Weka’s link above. That kind of approach – fucking with the target critters’ genome or ability to reproduce – is the kind of thing that GE comes in handy for. There are probably many variants of that “Trojan female” that could be used.

          • Robert Guyton 12.1.1.1.1

            Can you explain, Pyscho Milt how those “Trojan females” will be deployed?
            Are you suggesting a mass release of female rats into the native forests of New Zealand?

            • Psycho Milt 12.1.1.1.1.1

              I’m happy to leave it to the experts. They’re good like that.

              • Hit a pesky wall, huh? Oh well, no doubt science will save us.
                Here’s a funny one: in their efforts to discover the age of the ancient bristlecone pines, scientists convinced the gardians of the trees, the Forest Service, to allow them to cut down one, just one mind, bristlecone, in order to count it’s rings and determine its age. The Service agreed and the tree was discovered to be 5 000 years old. Later research revealed that the felled tree was twice as old as any other bristlecone – they’d felled the granddaddy of them all in their need to know.
                Releasing ‘fiddled-with’ female rats into the NZ bush, en masse, is going to such a vote winner! Maybe they’ll muzzle them. Maybe they’ll fly them into isolated areas on the backs of winged pigs.

                • If you want to quibble with the details of actual proposals to use GE for pest eradication, first stop trying to prevent research on it from being carried out, then wait for said proposals to be released. At that point you’ll be free to nit-pick to your heart’s content.

                  In the meantime, you asked how CRISPR could have applications in pest eradication. I told you how (by “fucking with the target critters’ genome or ability to reproduce”), and gave you a potential example (the “Trojan female” approach). Do you have some counter-argument for CRISPR in particular and GE in general not having applications in pest eradication?

  13. Frankly people need to start eating possums and rats and stoats – could be useful a bit later on.

  14. Possum pie, rat souffle and stoat on toast, all with a light dusting of 1080.

  15. They’re calling Key the Pied Piper but he’s really the town council, making big promises and failing to front up with the guilders. The people of Hamlin lost a great deal by allowing their leaders to make false promises.

    • Puckish Rogue 15.1

      I think that some of you seeing this purely in terms of left v right, that’s short sighted.

      This will be a popular decision which means it would be a very brave government to dismantle it. We know it won’t be dismantled by this current National government and we know that National will in power through to 2020 at least

      But what happens after 2020, well it’ll most likely be Lab/Green government so instead of whining and moaning instead use the six years to think how to improve the plan and when the left get into power they can then implement the improved plan and make it even better

      Its a step in the right direction and it can only get better and that’s a good thing but its time some of you put on your big boy pants

      • Robert Guyton 15.1.1

        It’s flim flam.
        It’s a ploy.
        It’s a promise easily made and impossible to realise.
        Your predictions, btw, are made of the same stuff as Key’s promises.

      • Psycho Milt 15.1.2

        This will be a popular decision which means it would be a very brave government to dismantle it.

        You’re funny. Once the $28 mil’s been disbursed to various NACT cronies, no-one will hear of this ever again. Key has plenty of form for this shit.

        • Puckish Rogue 15.1.2.1

          Nope it’ll end up like WFF, something no one will want to touch or mess with even though it should be

          • xanthe 15.1.2.1.1

            yes PR that is a very plausible outcome…

            a bit like our very own DOC

            • Puckish Rogue 15.1.2.1.1.1

              What I’m really thinking (hoping really) is that the longer program stays around the more funding it’ll receive from any incoming governments as its clearly not enough to do the job at the moment but you have to start somewhere

              • Or, you could throw gobs of money into a hole that can never be filled – money that would be better spent elsewhere. As in this case.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  Yeah yeah and I’m sure if the Greens had come up with something similar you’d say the exact same thing

                  • The Greens, I’m guessing here, wouldn’t seek to deceive the public with a pie in the sky proposal that couldn’t possibly work. That’s a significant difference in approach right there, Puck, and while you’ll be thinking, “That won’t win elections”, I’m thinking, truth is important. This technique of “say whatever, then attack any who question the reality” is effective, sure, but rotten, don’t you think?

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      You think truths important, ok then here’s some truth for you…

                      National want to win the election so they can control the treasury benches and decide what direction this country takes, anything else is inconsequential

                      You may not like it and I understand that, you may not agree with it and I understand that too but that doesn’t change that this announcement will help National retain power in 2017

                      National want power and at the moment Lab/Green are too weak, too poor, too disorganised and too poorly led to do anything about it

                      The amount of mistakes National have made and yet the opposition can’t capitalise on it, the only thing the opposition have is the so-called housing crisis and even with that there’s a lot of homeowners out there and lot of those homeowners have kids and none of them want to see their house prices fall

                      That’s the truth of the matter

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Yes.

                      The Gnats are a tyrannous and undemocratic outfit that mean to impose their gross inanity on a country by the pretence of democracy.

                      Good enough for vermin like PR, but not good for the hundreds of thousands thrust into poverty by their incontinent rapacity, nor for educated people who see our country led by fools and crooks worse than those we imprison.

                      We need not and we should not suffer it.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      No you shouldn’t Stuart if that’s how you feel however that’s something the left (mostly Labour) need to answer for don’t you think

          • Stuart Munro 15.1.2.1.2

            The Greens will cost it out of course, and since it doesn’t add up it’ll be canned in their first term. The Gnats will whine of course, but they will fool no-one. Best thing would be if Labour grows some teeth and sues the PPP for specific performance. “You received $28 million of public money under false pretences – now complete the job or be bankrupted.”

      • adam 15.1.3

        I like your optimism Puckish Rogue. And I agree the core idea is great, and bugger the left/right divided on a good idea.

        But, It’s just the day after some pretty inept pork barrel politics gets caught out, this government rolls out a measure which had a heavy dose of pork in it.

        I like the idea I really do, but the numbers are weak, the model is looking like another way to embed corruption, and the minister in charge is well – let’s be generous – not that good at anything that might need detail.

        And I hate to say it both national and labour are really good at political football, so my guess. Underfunded by national, then underfunded by labour. Will fall over, and we lose again.

        • Puckish Rogue 15.1.3.1

          I agree with you, its either pork-barrel rolling, distraction at its finest or an outright play to buy soft green votes

          I really do hope it becomes one of the ideas that no party wants to change and that other parties will throw more money at because they don’t want the other party to say they don’t care about the environment

          That’s what I hope for, whether it happens or not is another matter…

          • weston 15.1.3.1.1

            Its a shit idea pr right from the get go because for one thing it puts possums amongst the animals to spend millions on getting rid of when the country can could and does MAKE money from .Possums are a valuable resource lets continue using them !!!Have you ever worn a possum marino blend garment ?? They are bloody fantastic Have you ever eaten possum ?its good clean meat .Why spend millions getting rid of something that can benefit us all ???IT doesnt make sense .Why support a policy that is flawed at the outset and the particulars of which you obviously know fuck all about ???

      • Kevin 15.1.4

        Nah.

        I am looking at it as intelligent v stupid.

        And Key is the latter.

      • Paul 15.1.5

        I see it as a distraction, pure and simple.

  16. xanthe 16

    But at the heart of all this crap is the total failure of the Green Party to have any vision whatsoever on the subject.

    As far as i can see their stance is to support the continuation and expansion of aerial topdressing of 1080.

    The have left the door open here and Nats have stepped in. Now the situation is even worse! … Thanks GP

    • weka 16.1

      You appear to be confusing current DOC aproach (thanks National) with the GP position. The Greens have a comprehensive policy that is based on ecosystem protection (which is crucial if you want to save species). Have a read through, I think you will be surprised.

      https://home.greens.org.nz/policy/conservation-policy

      • Xanthe 16.1.1

        Thanks weka… yes I am suprised a lot of good stuff in there, they still dont get ethics and think that somehow 1080 is “cost effective” but not bad for a neoliberal free market party

        • weka 16.1.1.1

          Their 1080 policy is probably one of the major disagreements I have with them. Some of them are ideologically committed (like many other organisations, scientists etc). Others I suspect take the pragmatic approach that we can’t afford to wait for the day when a government sets up and adequately funds an alternative, so they support 1080 now. The problem for the anti-1080 lobby is that 1080 works.

          • Xanthe 16.1.1.1.1

            No it does not “work”
            If it “worked” it would be a single shot .

            As a repeating regime its obscene

            Its a failed policy maintained by spin, fake science, and bullying

            • weka 16.1.1.1.1.1

              If the objective is to save bird species and protect forest, it does work. I agree using is en masse, repeatedly and often is really not the way to go.

              • Xanthe

                Personally I feel that the aim of “predator free” is the problem. This is what has led us into 1080 in the first place. Ground based control and harvesting actually does “protect bird species and save forests” but 1080 was sold as a final solution which it is not

                No one is seriously discussing the only actual responsible, ethical, and do-able option which is responsible individuals harvesting and controlling pests with compassion and care … FOR EVER .. Thats what must be done! We just need to face up and get on with it.

                Cost is a completley bullshit argument when people are rotting awsy in our cities on the dole

                • weka

                  I agree with pretty much all of that Xanthe. I’d add that some people approve of 1080 in the meantime because they assume that there will be a biological/genetic control eventually.

                  • Xanthe

                    Yes weka i agree there probably are people who are assuming that
                    I suggest that this is not an ethical, or responsible, or in the end “cost effective” plan

                    Doing what is right, properly usually works out the best in my experience (and i have tried other ways!)

              • Xanthe

                Its not actually about 1080 or not 1080. Having made the decision to kill then it must be done with compassion ie quick and sure

                if poison is used every bait must be accounted for, and every death recorded.
                These are simply the basic requirements. They cannot be set aside on grounds of “cost”. Providing these requirements are met then I personally can accept that we must use lethal devices including 1080 or whatever is quick and sure.

        • Robert Guyton 16.1.1.2

          Xanthe – Kevin Hague, Green MP writes (@Kiwiblog):
          Kevin Hague (9 comments) says:
          July 27th, 2016 at 11:32 am
          Sorry to be late to this thread. Of course people are free to form their own opinions about anything I say, but I thought perhaps some clarification might help.

          For the record I am excited about the Predator-Free NZ target and have been a consistent supporter of the Trust. However, I am skeptical about Government’s actual commitment to what will be required to achieve this (quite distant) target, because:

          a) So far Government has been great with photo opps in Conservation, but has spent, on average, less than $50Mn per year (2015 real terms) than was being spent on Conservation in 2008, when they took office. The very modest $28Mn initial investment in predator-free is around half of this shortfall for just one year. (By the way, Auckland University research estimates the likely price-tag as $9Bn, and other estimates are higher still)
          b) One of the consequences of this has been that DOC’s capability and capacity around predator-control research and technical advice have both been significantly reduced, as DOC becomes more and more a tourism promotion agency.
          c) Previously this Government’s record has been to cut funding to predator-control research (for example the possum control research at Invermay, and the genetic methods being researched at Victoria University).

          In other words for the most part a sea change will be required for Government to play its part. Of course, to give a previous Minister, Kate Wilkinson, credit, Government did put money into a joint project with the Green Party to conduct large scale field trials of the GoodNature resetting traps, which has been an enormous success. However, the other aspect of our agreement was to jointly develop a national pest-control strategy, and Government has done absolutely nothing on that front. The Green Party remains able and willing to be an active participant with Government in achieving the predator-free goal.

          A word on private funding. I think having philanthropic and private sector funding is great if that is augmenting the public good work in Conservation that the Department is doing. But with a progressive underspend by Government in Conservation, the reality is that State funding is being replaced with private funding, and I think that firstly that short-changes all those New Zealanders who think Conservation work is one of the things they feel great about tax dollars being spent on, but more importantly that this risks Conservation effort being distorted – going into the most charismatic species, rather than the most ecologically important work. Around 150 species are now categorised as closer to extinction since 2008, and for 70% of these there is no kind of management plan or strategy for recovery.

          In the case of Predator-Free, Government’s intention of putting in a further dollar for every two dollars that someone else puts in, leaves the success or otherwise in achieving the goal is being left largely in others’ hands. I think Government

          So general support, but some significant change required to walk the talk. needs to commit to making it happen, and then seek contributions from others to help.

    • Flynn 16.2

      See, I get the whole ‘poisons bad!?!’ panic, but the trouble with ruling out 1080 is that it *actually works*

      NZ is the only country in the world that can get away with liberally using it because the majority impact is on mammals – so overseas studies on damage to bystander species are irrelevant.

      It breaks down really quickly in water to undetectable levels, so the thing about it ‘polluting our waterways’ is unscientific and basically wrong.

      It *can* kill birds, but the bait used can just be adjusted to avoid it – all the (few) bird die offs are from one off ‘oh whoops, this type of bait was a bad idea’ cases, after which they *stopped happening* because the birds stopped eating the poisoned bait (birds don’t just automatically absorb poison from the forest around them, you know).

      It still may kill the odd endangered bird, but the loss is far, far, far lower than the loss from leaving introduced predators to run rampant. There are dozens and dozens of examples in which NZ bird populations took off after mass poisonings because suddenly their chicks were *surviving*.

      And 1080 is a much better option than most alternatives – e.g. brodifacoum and cyanide (brodifacoum is very slow acting and tends to build up in the food chain, for example – if you’re curious go read https://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/42004/pros_cons_of_poisoning.pdf )

      And then there’s the efficiency issue. One trap will kill one animal then require resetting and regular checking. It requires enormous amounts of volunteer time and cannot cover inaccessible areas (or were you imagining sprinkling possum traps from a helicopter?) which tend to be where the most birds and pest actually *live*.

      And of course, cost. If this ‘magic pest control initiative’ had poured all that money back into the DOC, which is world famous for being amazingly effective at this pest elimination stuff *when it has the funding*, then it… still wouldn’t be enough to switch away from cheaper poison options and get anywhere near the same level of results.

      Also, they can’t catch every kinds of species.

      And if you can’t kill off everything at once in a targeted fashion, you’re going to get either a massive prey/predator boost from the other introduced species that absolutely hammer any remaining native birds or just a repopulation overspill from a nearby area (this is the problem up north, for example where the DOC just don’t have the funding to keep areas clear and they just turn into pest breeding grounds spreading out onto nearby lands).

      Is broadcasting poisonous substances good? Not… objectively. But subjectively, it WORKS.

      edit: or, yeah, the Green Party policy covers it all pretty well too
      https://home.greens.org.nz/policy/conservation-policy

    • Chooky 16.3

      I am not convinced that 1080 isn’t exterminating kea and kiwi

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/9070628/Kea-killed-in-1080-operation

      http://1080science.co.nz/kea-index/

      http://www.infonews.co.nz/news.cfm?id=77162

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_fluoroacetate

      “Birds

      Although it is now infrequent, individual aerial 1080 operations can still sometimes affect local bird populations if not carried out with sufficient care. In New Zealand, individuals from 19 species of native birds and 13 species of introduced birds have been found dead after aerial 1080 drops. Most of these recorded bird deaths were associated with only four operations in the 1970s that used poor-quality carrot baits with many small fragments.[51] On the other hand, many native New Zealand bird populations have been successfully protected by reducing predator numbers through aerial 1080 operations. Blue duck,[52] New Zealand pigeon,[53] kiwi,[54] New Zealand kaka,[55] New Zealand falcon,[56] tomtit,[57] South Island robin,[58]North Island robin,[59] New Zealand parakeets (kākāriki), and yellowhead (mōhua)[60] have all responded well to pest control programmes using aerial 1080 operations, with increased chick and adult survival, and increases in population size. In contrast, seven of 38 tagged kea, the endemic alpine parrot, were killed[61] during an aerial possum control operation in Ōkārito Forest conducted by DOC and AHB in August 2011. Because of their omnivorous feeding habits and inquisitive behaviour, kea are known to be particularly susceptible to 1080 poison baits, as well as other environmental poisons like the zinc and lead used in the flashings of backcountry huts and farm buildings.[62]”

      • Flynn 16.3.1

        Did… you even read your links? There’s a huge difference between ‘some accidental deaths’ and ‘exterminating’. Other than the infamous run of bad luck/poor bait design in the 1970s (40 years ago), there were ‘5’ in 2013, 11 somewhere else… do you have any idea how many birds are lost to pests?

        Your wikipedia quote literally discusses the bait issue I mentioned and how it’s a matter of adjusting baits. The Stuff article again discusses refining baits to reduce the problem. Conservation and pest control is an ongoing series of experiments. The infonews article is mostly rampant paranoia ‘oh, yes, they SAID [primary pest animal that is the reason we need to try and drop poison to protect the kiwi at all] killed them, but we’ve just decided based on our extensive distrust of the DOC that it’s all lies and therefore…’. Um. No, if poison wiped out all stoats forever, and none ever got missed or wandered into delicious competition free nirvana from elsewhere, nobody would ever have to do ongoing pest control. Whoever wrote that was a moron.

        Kea are an issue because they’ll eat ANYTHING, but that’s a local operations management issue, not a ‘no 1080 ever’. The damn things would probably dismantle or get stuck in the average trap too.

        Also, regardless, the impact of uncontrolled predators is far, far worse than the impact of a handful of accidentally poisoned birds. It doesn’t *matter* if poison drops do occasionally kill birds when weighed against the enormous boost they get from the poison also killing off most of the problem species in the area (for a while). You can tell this happens because you can directly compare populations before and after poison drops, or with places where no poison drop happened. Spoiler: the poison drops led to increased survival and larger populations of the bird species over time.

        There’s this weird belief that the DOC – one of the most idealistic, underpaid, and dedicated conservation groups in the country – is actively trying to kill off birds because they like using poison. And most of it seems to come from a) hunters who are sulking because most hunting practices are actually environmentally counterproductive and run into conflict with DOC specific management, and b) people who hear ‘poison drop’ and panic, without even looking at the science.

        • Chooky 16.3.1.1

          “And most of it seems to come from a) hunters who are sulking …” (That is bullshit for a start.)

          i am not a hunter and know farmers who are also concerned.

          Hunters , by the way probably know the back country better than you and are more conservationist than you and are genuinely concerned about the birds and the bush…so to try to slur all who opposes 1080 as self interested nonconservationist and hunters is spurious to begin with.

          You should ask questions as to who produces 1080 (USA family business?) …and who has actively behind the scenes promoted 1080 in the past…(a PR firm run with ACT affiliations?)

          You should also ask questions why scientists overseas oppose 1080…and why it is banned in Oregon

          imo 1080 is used in New Zealand for reasons of expediency and cost ( at the expense of hunters)

          …and then all serous bush and grassroots experience and scientific criticisms are stiffled in the interest of rationale and PR ( and sorry DOC is a political bureaucracy at the top like any other, despite the good DOC people on the ground)

          http://www.predatordefense.org/1080.htm

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/3883669/US-politician-tries-again-to-outlaw-1080-poison

          http://1080science.co.nz/is-1080-good-for-birds-read-the-science/

          ( again like others and from personal experience in the bush and in the mountains over the years I believe that 1080 is exterminating kea and kiwi)

      • Lloyd 16.3.2

        Don’t forget there is detectable quantities of 1080 in tea leaves. Is Bell Tea a plot by the Green Party to kill old ladies?

        • Chooky 16.3.2.1

          …and there is mercury in many people’s teeth ….and too many carrots will kill you…and too much water

          so fallacious, false equivalence, red herring argument about little old ladies tea and the Green Party ( pathetic attempt to trivialize and undermine arguments opposed to 1080 ….give me an honest ecologically aware straight shooting , straight talking hunter any day)

          …and btw I don’t support the Green Party on this 1080- issue or DOC or Forest and Bird

  17. Sanctuary 17

    The obvious Labour retort would be to offer unlimited riches to everyone by funding a private organisation led by John Minto to make a technologgical breakthough by 2040 that will allow faster that light travel to distant planets.

  18. Simon Louisson 18

    Does pest free mean getting rid of Nats (gnats)?

    • Puckish Rogue 18.1

      Well theres a thing a called elections that allows you to do just that 🙂

      • Siobhan 18.1.1

        Permanent eradication?? Really?? Oh Joy.

        “It’s crazy and ambitious but I think it might be worth a shot.” The late Sir Paul Callaghan.

        • Puckish Rogue 18.1.1.1

          I guess the problem is people like where NZs going and want to keep voting National in, ah well thems the joys of democracy I suppose 🙂

        • Stuart Munro 18.1.1.2

          You’ll notice the ‘trojan female’ Gnat eradication initiative has already succeeded in transmitting Zika virus to the target population.

  19. Pat Wall 19

    Nothing more than a pre-election sound bite. It is nothing but BS and aimed at hopeful yet feeble minded folk who will swallow Nats lines again and again.

    • Sam C 19.1

      I love it how anyone who dares to have a view contrary to yours in considered “feeble minded” Pat.

      It is a bit early for pre-election soundbites, isn’t it? The feeble minded riff raff will have forgotten about this soundbite by the time the election rolls around, thereby rendering it a useless soundbite. Surely? Surely?

  20. Jones 20

    I don’t buy it. Predator Free NZ… an organisation whose name is a marketing slogan not grounded in any reality. Hot-trotting out to the public with an aspirational goal based on some vapourous scientific solution. Kind of sums it up for me… more smoke and mirrors. Maybe I’m just too cynical after nearly 3 terms of John Key’s abuse of NZ.

  21. Ad 21

    If the Nat’s really wanted to have policy to launch into 2017 and target the Green vote from those organic-shopping housewives, cycle-to-work professionals, Manuka skincare range luvvies, hybrid-driving bearded hipsters, hand-knitted Karma Good Magazine subscribers, tens of thousands of trampers and eco-reserve-volunteers, Wanaka-Queenstown 100% Pure types, plus of course packs of hunting and fishing grunts, they could not have a better platform than to re-launch all these as a bunch:

    – Passage of the Kermadec Islands marine reserve

    – Goal of pest-free New Zealand

    – Acceleration of urban and tourist-focused cycle networks

    There’s nothing the Opposition can do to oppose them, and they’ve blunted most of the Greens’ little post-Paris COP 21 surge.

    • Macro 21.1

      As a hybrid driving, manuka skin care, hand knitted, organic shopper who replants wetlands and tends native forest reserves and doesn’t use plastic bags – I can see right through this load of shit for what it is; and I can vouch for my bearded friends as well. This is aimed at the sheeple who also want to see a panda.

      • weka 21.1.1

        +1. I think the people who will like this are the people wedded to National politically and those who don’t know much abotu conservation or sustainability.

      • Ad 21.1.2

        I think I do all of those listed, except the beard.

    • b waghorn 21.2

      Those hunter grunts would vote for a party that got rid of 1080 and left the deer and pigs out of the pest killing plans.

      • mauī 21.2.1

        NZFirst

      • weston 21.2.2

        Reckon b w and add possums to that list they the poor mans friend

      • weka 21.2.3

        Haven’t the deer hunters association done a deal with DOC? Expect opposition to 1080 from that quarter to wane.

        • b waghorn 21.2.3.1

          Don’t know about the d stalkers , but going on what i was told by a local today in taumarunui the latest1080 dump has killed many deer , and doc are picking up the carcasses with helicopters of deer that have died on farms and are dumping them in the bush. (that’s second hand news)

          • weka 21.2.3.1.1

            I have some criticisms of DOC, but I think that story is highly unlikely as it stands.

  22. Olwyn 22

    It seems to be the current fashion on the right to seize areas formerly designated for the establishment left and render them neoliberal-friendly. The electric cars being allowed to drive in bus lanes follows the same pattern. It hardly matters to the right whether any of these policies succeed or fail, only that they are no longer the province of the left. So, if you go the Corbyn way you will be mercilessly hounded, and if you go the Blairite way they will have stolen what little remained of your thunder.

    • Ad 22.1

      Definitely.
      The left are being wedged.

      • adam 22.1.1

        So go further to the left. By that I mean more democratic, less authoritarian, with core programmes to create spaces for local communities to run their own lives.

        With a heavy dose of, To paraphrase George Carlin,

        “Bugger the centre”

  23. UncookedSelachimorpha 23

    Tax the top 10% heaps, use the money to pay field workers and researchers to go after pests, lots of jobs and downstream benefits….I could support that.

    Oh wait – is that not how National was going to do it?

  24. Takere 24

    Another tricky move to side-step the Department of Conversations responsibilities, eventually. PPP. Partly funded by the Crown then the rest of the cost is worn by regional & council(s) and the private sector. Cut out the middleman and circumvent related policy’s too. Auckland City Council has already had a test run of this plan in the Hunua. Doc had a crack at it in the Coromandel and butchered it. The privatisation route to fund a program which costs $78m annually. Now the cost gets past onto rate payers & the private sector. Eventually the cost will be borne by tax payers directly and the Crown gets off the hook.

  25. There is only one reason Key and the Nat’s have come up with this
    Chinese Steel and Tod McKay. The trouble is the great unwashed will fall for it .

  26. save nz 26

    2050? Maybe if they wait that long, we won’t have any native species left!

    And why the private sector? You would think that putting in a for profit company would increase costs (they need to make a profit) and decrease effectiveness (who is going to volunteer for a private company?).

    As usual ideology over common sense. Unless it is about passing government contracts and taxpayer dollars to cronies and friends of cronies.

  27. Ad 27

    Labour bet Housing. Went well.

    National laid down Pest eradication. Will go down well.

    Since National are going for leftie heartland, I would counter-strike right back into their own heartland. eg.:
    – lower income tax for everyone under median wage to 10%
    or
    – A Kiwisaver account formed for every new child at October 2017 with $5,000 in it.

    Something that hits them just as hard, in a policy area they thought they had to themselves. Money. No other policy area will cut it.

    Labour and the Greens have to fight back really really hard, on a new front.

    • Macro 27.1

      Heard of clean rivers?

    • b waghorn 27.2

      Had smoko with my co workers today( I doubt there is a left voter amongst them) , the found the whole nat plan a huge joke ,but key never got a mention its all barrys stupid idea according to them.

      • Chuck 27.2.1

        Current Nat voters are not the target (although it can only but help to keep them in the fold)…its soft Green voters.

    • adam 27.3

      How about removal of GST, and replace it with a flat luxury tax.

      Tax free threshold of $26,926

      Like the kiwisaver idea a lot by the way.

      • Chuck 27.3.1

        Careful adam! you don’t want to start getting into “pork barrel politics” 🙂

    • weston 27.4

      Good ideas what about eliminate tax altogeather for anyone earning less than 50 k after all they still paying gst on anything they spend and cm up with a plan for getting more back from corporations .Love the kiwisaver idea could work just as well in kiwibank maybe?and i think you right play their game and hit them where it hurts !

  28. mac1 28

    The Nats have just lost the next election.

    They have just lost the feline-friendly vote. See Roy Morgan’s article.

    http://thespinoff.co.nz/politics-media/25-07-2016/rejoice-a-predator-free-nz-is-no-longer-a-dream-now-lets-talk-about-the-money-and-the-cats/

    Next it will be the dogs!

  29. Key for Key.

    Headline:

    John Key: “Cat-free NZ”

    • Cat Killer Key. If I had the chops, I’d be making graphics of John Key eating kittens rightabout now.

    • mac1 29.2

      Cat-free NZ? The country’s going to the dogs.

      But behind the levity, there must be a coherent strategy and a feel-good response like NZ cycleways or a predator-free NZ by 2050 has to make sense.

      In 2050, I’ll be a 100 years old. I’d love to see a predator-free NZ. But cats are predators of our bird-life, native and introduced. I don’t keep a cat. Instead I have five cats, one from each of my neighbours which colonise my property. They kill birds, lie in wait for ducklings, chase fantails, harass wax-eyes, eye up the tui.

      It’s not enough to say we’ll have a predator-free NZ. The government has to define its terms, (which predators and where?), have a coherent strategy (oh, we’ll let private enterprise take care of it), and tell us, honestly.

      At the moment, I see this as feel-good strategy, very clever and very calculating, both in its timing and its 34 year term. It’s out there, in our ‘brighter future’.

      Yeah. Right.

  30. Halfcrown 30

    @10.30 4.1.1.2

    I wrote
    “If National is really concerned about the NZ they can for starters re employ some of the staff that was reduced in Bio Security that has let the Willow Aphid Varroa Bee mite and some other nasties into this country.”

    On TV one news it was reported that ANOTHER pest has got into the country A pea wevil. Some of the pea growers where this pest was found will not be able to grow any peas on their property for two years One guy said he may have to sell his property that has been in his family for ages and his comment was it is about time the government INCREASED the Bio Security.
    To add insult to injury there was that vacant looking dumb prat Nathan Guy coming out with all the usual platitudes.

  31. Draco T Bastard 31

    Breaking:

    government confirms #PredatorFreeNZ plan is to send flying squads to visit Auckland rats and offer them $5K to move to Australia

    😈

  32. gnomic 32

    What about the pigs and goats then since the country is to be restored to a pristine state? Pigs are definitely a bit on the predatory side, though they can’t climb trees as far as I know. Goats must be munching a lot of native plant species.

    Forget the deer as they are an essential prey species for human predators.

    But it is a half-arsed plan of course, so thinking it through can hardly be expected. Perhaps the most brilliant aspect is that most of us here will be defunct by the projected date of completion; shame we will never know whether the smirking weasel’s latest brainfart was just a poor joke.

    This is just another example of the current regime’s increasing tendency to think they can spout any old rubbish and the populace will lap it up. Just like ‘we create our own reality’ as the President’s brain once reputedly said. (Karl Rove and Wubya). They must sit around laughing it up, can you believe they believed that? Trebles all round, eh what!

    • b waghorn 32.1

      There is a thriving little industry in mustering goats off farms and sending them to the works , goat meat is very popular with some sectors of society.

  33. srylands 33

    How do you folk reconcile your endless calls for massively increased Government spending (and it never ends – I see it here several times daily), and lower Government debt? It is remarkable.

    • McFlock 33.1

      How do you reconcile your apparent search for another person’s perspective with the arrogance and self-absorption you display in trying to derail a thread in such a complete manner?

    • mac1 33.2

      simple, srylands.

      Pay your taxes. Front up to your social responsibilities. Own your debts. Pay your dues. Don’t be a bludger. Be a man, and not a leech. Join the 90%. Liberate your conscience. Lose the shackles of greed. Self realisation, not self-immolation.

      There you go!

  34. whateva next? 34

    now they know they can’t get Labour, they are picking on rats, easy target, pathetic

  35. Justme 35

    There are a bunch of two-legged rodents that are in government today who deserve more elimination from our environment than rats, possums and stoats. But the ONLY way we NZ voters can get rid of these self-serving rats is to get off our rear ends and vote at next years’ election.
    Letting apathy reign supreme is allowing John Key and his swarm of fellow rats to get back into government again.
    I am sure the day of having a government and a PM who has stopped listening to NZers is near to an end. Especially now that Key is sleeping with the Americans and will be happily gallavanting on an American warship in a NZ port despite the fact many NZers don’t want US warships back in OUR ports.
    Key & co have become so totally arrogant and that is part and parcel of being a third term government. They may hear the people but they no longer LISTEN to the people. They think they know better than us as to how we should lead our lives but be assured not ONE National MP has bothered to sleep in the street to connect with what it is like to be homeless.
    And so if they truly cared about the country they would have done so many things right from the word “Go” instead of leaving these ideas till 16 months out from the next election(if it’s held in November 2017).
    And so there is a strong hint of mis-trust on the government that along the way into arrogance has lost complete touch with the people of New Zealand.

  36. Lloyd 36

    Good thing about a wishy-washy long term promise like this is that another party will be in power for at least some of the time and you can blame them when the program doesn’t come up with the goods.

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    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
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    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
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  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
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  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
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    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
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  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
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    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
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    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
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    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No-one cares about local government
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
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  • Are GNUs extinct?
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  • Labour chickens out again
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
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    2 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
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    2 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
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  • More progress for women and we can do more
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  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
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    3 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
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    3 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
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    3 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
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    4 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
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    4 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
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    4 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
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    4 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
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  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
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  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
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  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
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  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
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    5 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
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  • CTU speech – DPM
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    5 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
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  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
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    5 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
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    5 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
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    5 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
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    6 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
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  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
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    6 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Extra support for rural families
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    1 week ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
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    1 week ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
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    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
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  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
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    1 week ago