More than 100 godwits, knots, endangered dotterels and other shorebirds were illegally "harvested" at the end of February.
Normally this sort of gutless action happens out of sight of anyone...but this time it was witnessed. A resident says people boated into the isolated bay and began blasting with a shotgun. The Herald on Sunday reports the shooters threatened the man, that if he reported what happened his house would be burned down. Then they collected dead birds and left, leaving at least half a dozen wounded behind.
Collecting the birds indicates the shooters were going to eat them, and knowing where the witness lived shows local knowledge. Thus the finger points to local maori as being responsible (even if they're NOT). Traditionally maori used to catch these species, and there've been illegal ''cultural harvests'' in the Far North in recent years. The local maori trust says the shooting was not a "sanctioned cultural harvest", and wants them caught as much as DOC does.
Department of Conservation says both dotterels and godwits are protected species, with heavy fines up to $100,000 and a jail term up to six months for harming them. However, the dotterel shootings are particularly worrying as there are only about 1500 in NZ, and that area has a breeding colony.
|endangered dotterel at Waiwera|
(1) the obvious - illegal shooting of protected birdlife, and
(2) one from the "let's not talk about it" box - "cultural harvesting" of protected birds.
The PC Brigade will fight that the Treaty Of Waitangi enshrines maori rights to consume this wildlife. But on the other hand, we have strict laws to protect these very same birds.
And who gave local maori trusts the power to "sanction" their killing anyway? We're not talking common-or-garden mallard ducks here! Surely any such approval must come from DOC! But if local maori administration can "sanction a harvest" of protected birds, then it logically follows that our conservation laws apply only to white NZers!
As long as that contentious manipulated divisive Treaty is held up as some sort of sacred tome, NZ will never be a happy multi-cultural partnership with one set of laws for all. That maori can "sanction the harvesting" of endangered birds is a shocking situation:
"Hey, bro, me and the cuzzies fancy a kiwi casserole this weekend. Any chance of giving us the ok? Chuuuurrrr!"