I support the Government’s Battle for our Birds

Gareth MorganEnvironment

The Government has confirmed that following the mast season in our southern beech forests – and the plague of rats and stoats it is unleashing – it will proceed with the Battle for our Birds.

I support this move.

No one likes to use poisons like 1080, but as discussed in this interview on Radio New Zealand yesterday (inserted below – discussion starts at 15mins), in this case it is the lesser evil. We must act now if we want to save our native heritage from being over run by stoats and rats.

Poisons are controversial, and like many environmental issues the science is not 100% certain. We have to act, based on the best evidence we have – otherwise we may lose our native species. When our Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment reviewed 1080, she ended up criticising DOC for not using it enough.

Achieving a Predator Free New Zealand will be a massive task. I am proud of the work we are doing on the Antipodes Island with Million Dollar Mouse  with Enhancing the Halo here in Wellington and the conversations we are having with the communities on Stewart Island/ Rakiura about that island becoming predator free.

The Government’s Battle for the Birds is an important part of the puzzle. However this is a bit like a war – we will all need Kiwis to work together if we want to win – using the best practice available at the time. Techniques that limit the use of poison are being developed continually and moved into practice as soon as possible. But we do not have the luxury of waiting until we have the “perfect” solution – the pests and predators wait for nobody and our precious species continue to be eliminated by the scourge that is introduced species.


I support the Government’s Battle for our Birds was last modified: December 15th, 2015 by Gareth Morgan
About the Author

Gareth Morgan

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Gareth Morgan is a New Zealand economist and commentator on public policy who in previous lives has been in business as an economic consultant, funds manager, and professional company director. He is also a motorcycle adventurer and philanthropist. Gareth and his wife Joanne have a charitable foundation, the Morgan Foundation, which has three main stands of philanthropic endeavour – public interest research, conservation and social investment.