Statements by Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson that 1080 protestors have ‘valid concerns’ completely contradict her colleague - Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage’s policy of increasing the use of 1080, National’s Conservation spokesperson Sarah Dowie says.
“We are getting used to the different parties in Government contradicting each other, but it is a new level of chaos when we have a Green co-leader contradicting her own Green Minister.
“Ms Sage has consistently argued that 1080 is the best tool for protecting New Zealand’s native species and the statement by Ms Davidson that protestors have valid concerns puts a spoke in the wheel of the Government’s conservation programme.
“Ms Davidson comments just muddy the waters and undermine the efforts and hard work of Department of Conservation staff in protecting New Zealand’s species.
“National is committed to ensuring that our children, and their children, will be able to experience kiwi and other native birds in the wild.
“We believe that conservation should be based on science, not ideology.
“The science is unequivocal, 1080 is currently the best tool we have for controlling the rats, stoats and possums that kill 25 million birds per year.
“National introduced Predator Free New Zealand and expanded the area where pests are controlled from 100,000 hectares a year to over 800,000 hectares. We welcomed the announcement from the Government in the Budget to further double it to 1.6 million hectares.
“The confused messaging in this Government are not just from the Green Party. NZ First campaigned to ban the use of 1080 – but when in Government voted to double its use.
“This is not the first time Ms Sage has found herself out of step with her own party leadership. Her decision to grant Overseas Investment Act approval to a water bottler was controversial.
“National is the only party that has consistently taken a science-based approach to pest control.”