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Archive for October, 2006

Scoop: Vision of NZ As World’s First Sustainable Nation


Soil & Health Association of New Zealand (Est.
1941)

Publishers of ORGANIC NZ

Vision of NZ As
World’s First Sustainable Nation

The Soil & Health
Association congratulates Prime Minister Helen Clark for the
vision of New Zealand being the world’s first truly
sustainable nation.

Yesterday at the Labour Party
Conference the Prime Minister asked, “Why shouldn’t New
Zealand aim to be the first country which is truly
sustainable I believe that sustainability will be a core
value in 21st century social democracy.

I want New
Zealand to be in the vanguard of making it happen – for
our own sakes, and for the sake of our planet.
I want
sustainability to be central to New Zealand’s unique
national identity.”

“This is the most important and
exciting statement for New Zealand’s future for some time
from that level,” said Steffan Browning, Soil & Health
spokesperson, “New Zealanders will welcome a vision of a
truly clean green country.”

This significant vision
fits with the Soil & Health vision of an Organic 2020, where
by the year 2020 most of New Zealand’s production is
certified organic and the remainder is in conversion to
organic.

With milestones towards an Organic 2020
being difficult to achieve until recently, such vision from
the Prime Minister is encouraging. It comes on the back of
last year’s Government funding support for sector group
Organics Aotearoa New Zealand, and the Green Party initiated
funding for an Organics Advisory Service.
“Organic
milestones will be more easily attained with a
sustainability vision coming from the Prime Minister,” said
Mr Browning.

“Organic production leads the way in
sustainable methods of primary production, and a visionary
Prime Minister will hopefully do all in her power to ensure
the organic sector, as a vanguard of sustainability, can
maintain its development into the future.”

Prime
Minister Helen Clark finished, “Our country is special, and
our people are special.” Soil & Health would add its motto
‘Healthy Soil, Healthy Food, Healthy
People.”

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Scoop: Fantail/piwakawaka wins Bird of the Year 2006

16 October 2006 – Wellington

Fantail/piwakawaka wins Birdof the Year 2006

The votes are all in and thefantail/piwakawaka is officially New Zealand’s favouriteBird of the Year.

Voting in Forest & Bird’s secondannual Bird of the Year poll closed on Sunday. Thefantail/piwakawaka came first with 458 votes – just a beakahead of last year’s winner, the tui, which had 453votes.

Forest & Bird Advocacy Manager Kevin Hackwell saysmany New Zealanders are very fond of thefantail/piwakawaka’s cheeky antics and agile aerialmanoeuvres.

“The piwakawaka is a bird we all get a greatdeal of enjoyment from seeing. It is fantastic to see thisamazing little bird up close as they follow us through thebush, or even in our own gardens.”

With the fantail andtui taking the top two places, it is clear that NewZealanders have a strong appreciation for those birds thatare relatively common, and that we can see and enjoy in oureveryday lives, Kevin Hackwell says.

“Unfortunately notall our birds are so lucky, and many of the birds in theBird of the Year “top 10” are under serious threat, orare in decline. For example the kakapo, in fourth place,and takahe, in fifth place, are both classified ascritically endangered.”

While others in the top 10, suchas the kea, kereru and kokako are not in such severely direstraits as their critically endangered cousins, they remainunder serious threat from habitat destruction and introducedpredators.

“We need to ensure that these uniquely NewZealand birds are better protected so that their numbersincrease and their presence can continue to be enjoyed bygenerations to come.”

Even the relatively abundantfantail can easily fall prey to domestic cats, KevinHackwell says.

“If there is just one thing you do tohelp protect New Zealand’s favourite bird, it is to keepyour pet cats inside at night. Just this simple action willbe a significant factor in helping protect the fantail andother native birds.”

The kereru was a strong performerthis year, climbing from sixth in 2005 to third place thisyear, possibly helped by the nationwide Kereru DiscoveryProject, which aims to halt the decline in itspopulation.

New to the top 10 this year were the takaheand kiwi, while the stitchbird/hihi and grey warbler/riroriodropped off the top 10.

Kevin Hackwell says it was greatto see the number of votes in Bird of the Year increase morethan threefold from the inaugural poll in 2005, to a totalof 3283 votes this year.

“New Zealanders are showing agrowing appreciation of our fantastic native species, andare taking an increasing interest in protecting them –that’s something Forest & Bird applaudswholeheartedly.”

The full Bird of the Year top 10 is:Fantail/piwakawaka (458 votes) Tui (453) Kereru (348) Kakapo (229) Takahe (180) Kea (172) Kokako (168) Bellbird/korimako (116) Kiwi (109) Pukeko (81)

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