Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage says the National Party’s petition to stop control of Himalayan tahr shows that
National doesn’t understand conservation, and is resorting in opposition to a bizarre form of shouting for the sake of
political point scoring.
“Truly, a petition by National to “save tahr” is absurd,” Eugenie Sage says.
“Whilst in government, National were missing in action protecting our special alpine landscapes and ecosystems from
heavy browsing and trampling by a ballooning population of Himalayan tahr.
“Despite the international importance of New Zealand’s alpine plants, many of which are only found here in Aotearoa, the
Department of Conservation was starved of funding and tahr numbers were allowed to explode.
“Once again, this government is having to clean up after nine years of neglect. I am taking the necessary steps to fix
the damage done, and making decisions that protect our biodiversity and beautiful indigenous plants. I am proud to stand
up for our native taonga in the Ka Tiritiri o Moana/Southern Alps.
“The previous government did not ensure that the limits in the Himalayan Tahr Control Plan from 1993 were kept, and
numbers of tahr have ballooned three times higher than allowed.
“We’ve resurrected the Tahr Liasion Group that provides hunters, conservation and other stakeholders with input because
we recognise that communities love our alpine landscapes.
“I will continue to engage with the Tahr Liason Group and with hunting groups such the Game Animal Council and NZ
Deerstalkers on this important issue.
“I’m not sure if National are aware of the science on this, but tahr are an invasive species that eat their way through
our precious native plants. They are destroying the unique New Zealand biodiversity in the Southern Alps, a stunning
part of New Zealand that New Zealanders want to protect.
“Would National seriously rather protect invasive tahr than protect our world-renowned natural landscapes? That is what
at risk here.
“I suggest National do some homework before continuing to peddle this petition,” Eugenie Sage said.