The Department of Conservation has issued a media statement about New Zealand’s vote on the IUCN motion for Māui/Hector’s dolphin.

Date:  21 September 2012

As a result of some inaccurate media coverage the Department of Conservation (DOC) has issued the following statement:

The New Zealand Government’s position was to oppose the IUCN motion to ban gill and trawl nets out to the 100 metre contour.

The New Zealand Head of Delegation, Andrew Bignell, did not tell congress that he was asked by the Ministry for Primary Industries to vote against the motion. The Head of Delegation was presenting the position of the New Zealand Government.

Following the vote against the motion an explanation of vote was provided to congress by the Head of Delegation. That explanation was;

  1. New Zealand is committed to the protection of Māui and Hector’s dolphin, but is unable to support the proposed motion because it is not consistent with New Zealand government policy on mitigating fishing related risks to them.
  2. New Zealand has extensive measures in place to protect Māui dolphin on the West Coast of the North Island through their core range – including a ban on the use of commercial set nets out to 7 nautical miles from Pariokawira Point to North of the Kaipara Harbour. There is no evidence that the 100 metre depth contour in the proposed motion reflects the limit of Māui dolphin or Hector’s dolphin’s entire range. For this reason, New Zealand does not consider it an appropriate basis on which to base its management actions and New Zealand is therefore unable, to support the motion.


Reuben Williams, DOC Media Advisor
Ph: +64 2725 72216

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