Extra money to save kauri ... but not birds?

Forest & Bird is welcoming the commitment of $25 million over four years in today’s budget to combat the spread of kauri dieback disease.

But the independent conservation organisation is questioning why the government isn’t providing similar funding support to the Department of Conservation, which is being forced to pay for this year’s  $21million Battle for the Birds predator control out of its already insufficient operating budget.  

“It’s vital that kauri dieback is stopped – otherwise kauri could become extinct,” says Forest & Bird Advocacy Manager Kevin Hackwell.

“But fighting the rat and stoat plagues that will result from this year’s abundance of beech seeds is a once-in-a-decade-plus crisis that DOC should never be expected to budget for.

“The department will be forced to pay for this year’s boost to its predator control programme by cutting back on other vital conservation work over the next few years,” Kevin Hackwell says.