Today, the Government announced its draft kiwi recovery plan, which seeks to turn around the current decline in kiwi numbers.
It is an ambitious plan that rightly recognises that predator control and habitat protection will be key to saving the kiwi.
What is most concerning however, is that there is an acknowledged annual funding shortfall of $1.3 million, which they are expecting groups like Kiwis for Kiwis to fundraise for.
The problem with this shortfall is that there are numerous other significant conservation projects which the Government needs significant funding from charities and sponsorship to make work, in part due to the current underfunding of DOC.
The biggest of these is Predator Free 2050, which the Government has only committed a mere $28 million over the next four years, and will put in another $1 for every $2 from charities and the private sector. Relying on third party funding seriously threatens the viability of the project.
Our policy is to implement our Taonga Levy on tourists, which will raise $46 million a year for Predator Free 2050 and we will also to restore DOC’s funding to pre-National Government levels so it is properly resourced to do its work. Since 2008, DOC has managed on $55 million less than under the Labour Goverment.
These two steps will ensure genuinely sustainable funding for protecting our precious species and their habitats.