To deliver on the vision of a predator free New Zealand and a renewal of our native wildlife, let’s start right here in Wellington, by building on the halo created by our own sanctuary Zealandia. This is the challenge Gareth Morgan is setting our city, particularly the citizens of Karori.
Morgan is holding a public meeting in Karori at Allen Ward Hall, Donald St on Wednesday 20 February at 7pm to challenge Karori to become the first ’confined cat only’ suburb. “This is not just about conservation and saving native species,” Morgan said. “It is about cashing in on our natural capital, making New Zealand a unique, world class place to visit and live in. We can start right here in Karori – Zealandia has already done the hard work, now the rest of us need to step up. As far as I am concerned a confined cat is a pet, all others are pests.”
Morgan has dubbed Zealandia “New Zealand’s most expensive cat food factory.” He is calling for the Council to step up take a consistent approach to safeguarding our native wildlife. “The Council spends millions on Zealandia and controlling other predators like rats in this city. We have all enjoyed the revival of native birds as a result, and the return of the dawn chorus. However the Council lack the spine to take on the furry killers that are currently making a mockery of all this good work.”
“Indeed it’s worse than this. Council has abdicated its responsibility around wandering and free range cats to the SPCA. And the SPCA has made a total hash of it as that organisation has been captured by animal rights activists instead of sticking to its knitting and being concerned solely with cruelty. SPCA is supporting cat colonies throughout the country, these colonies are proliferating and with it the kill of our native species. All those associated with the SPCA should be ashamed, deeply ashamed of what they’re responsible for.”
“Can someone tell me how Mayor Celia, a declared environmentalist can on the one hand be investing money in Zealandia and by the same token pouring money into the conversion of the Fever Hospital to house an expanded SPCA operation? One activity is around conservation and the other is about a complete assault of our natural heritage. It is about as wasteful as you can possibly be with ratepayer dollars”.
Morgan is calling for a number of changes to achieve this vision. He wants people who cannot confine their cat to make this cat their last. He also wants cats to be managed just like dogs are now, with the Council taking responsibility, all pet cats registered and chipped, and all stray and feral cats humanely caught and euthanised.
The recent campaign on cats “Cats to Go” has attracted a huge amount of attention both here and around the world. It has also sparked some firey debate amongst Kiwis. After the initial furore created by the suggestion of a cat free New Zealand, the Cats to Go campaign has seen a surprising level of agreement: 80% of Kiwis disagree with the SPCA’s policy of releasing stray cats, 65% believe cats should be registered as dogs are, 40% wanted the right to keep cats off their property, and just under 40% of people agreed to make their current cat the last.