Dear Minister Wilkinson
I delighted in the news of the bird transfers at Motutapu Island. As a former resident of Auckland and a keen conservationist I was very happy with the news, having seen the island of Motutapu transformed over many years. The efforts on the island are a great credit to the volunteers under the banner of the Motutapu Restoration Trust as well as the sustained effort and leadership from the Department of Conservation.
I note from radio and other media that you were quoted and I think it is marvellous that you were showing an interest in a world class restoration project. However, I note that your party is simultaneously removing a great number of resources from the Department of Conservation. The resources to be removed (they have names, I know them) are some of the reason for successes like the one you were celebrating today and many others. Ecological restoration is a nascent field globally and New Zealand has been a world leader, in large part due to the efforts of DOC and it’s predecessors. I am aggrieved that while on one hand the National Party has been systematically undermining the Department of Conservation while on the other celebrating it’s successes.
This would seem unfair and I request that you better represent the interests of New Zealanders on this matter and advocate for greater resources for DOC (or at least have those that were just taken handed back).
I would request a response detailing what would appear to be a disjunct between your values and the actions of your party with respect to the country’s key resource for meeting national and international commitments related to biodiversity. Regrettably, I am yet to recieve a decent response from the National MP desite having raised concerns in the past (chiefly with Minister Smith). I would thank you to steer clear of responding with a narrative as to how the previous government failed to an equal or greater degree along the same lines – that reductionist rhetoric would insult us both. I look forward to your response