Let’s get rid of the critters (the furry variety) before it’s too late

Brian Rudman: Let’s get rid of the critters (the furry variety) before it’s too late – 17 Dec 2007 – NZ Herald: New Zealand and International Environment New

West coast of the Coromandel

Wouldn’t it be great if the Department of Conservation got a little more enthusiastic about the national park around which the vast majority of its taxpaying funders live. I’m talking about the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park.

It should be DoC’s showcase reserve. Somewhere to demonstrate the department’s conservation skills to those of us who pay the bills. To say nothing of raising much-needed funds off fee-paying tourists. But nearly eight years after the Conservation Minister at the time, Sandra Lee, signed legislation marking what she declared was our first “national park of the sea”, it still hasn’t been formally opened.

If it hadn’t been for constant pressuring over subsequent years of ministers such as Lee and Chris Carter, with the odd shove from Prime Minister Helen Clark, one suspects that what progress there has been would not have occurred.

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