Southern Ocean whaling must be halted

NZ Labour Party Conservation spokesperson Steve Chadwick has welcomed moves that would stop the Japanese from whaling in the Southern Ocean.

However, Steve Chadwick remained concerned that stopping whaling in the Southern Ocean in exchange for agreeing to whaling closer to Japan will simply export the problem.

“Having a Southern Ocean free of whaling has long been a dream of New Zealand’s, but we need to ensure the price paid to move towards this does not allow the decimation of whales in other regions.

“There needs to be ongoing scientific studies of whale populations in the Southern Ocean and other regions,” Steve Chadwick said.

Steve Chadwick also called on Conservation Minister Tim Groser to step forward and make his Government’s position on whaling clear.

“This country has been a world leader on conservation issues and I would hope we can maintain that reputation.

“However, so far the National Government has had an appalling record in terms of the environment with the scrapping of biofuels legislation and adopting a confusing and incoherent stance on climate change.

Steve Chadwick also expressed her concern at having the Minister of Trade also holding the conservation portfolio.

“There is a level of incompatibility with those portfolios that is of concern.

“Mr Groser has so far remained relatively silent on Conservation issues and it’s now time for him to step forward and provide reassurance that he will continue to enhance this country’s reputation for conservation.

“Conservation contributes significantly to New Zealand’s reputation as a world class destination for tourists as well as being important to the long-term future of this country,” Steve Chadwick said.