Richard Moore: 100% Pure shame


Don't you love it when sneaks, cheats, hypocrites and liars are caught out.

They are not my favourite types as I reckon if you believe in something you should stand up for it openly, be honest in your dealings with people and never go against your conscience.

That way you can always look people in the eye and they know where you stand.

As my nan used to say "the only person who can take your good name away from you ... is you."

It is a good bit of advice to live by and I'm sure there are some representatives of this land who wished they'd taken on board such wisdom.

They were at the world's largest conservation summit, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, in South Korea.

There was a vote about introducing measures to try to save Maui's and Hector's dolphins by banning gill nets and trawl nets from waters up to 100m deep in all areas where the mammals live.

Now just to show just how desperate things are for the Maui's dolphin - there are only 55 left in existence. The Hector's dolphins number about 7000.

Since 2004 the Maui's dolphin population has halved and that is being blamed on the use of gill nets.

Gill nets are nasty things. They can be several kilometres long and basically grab every swimming thing they can, including protected, endangered species.

Dolphins are vulnerable because their sonar doesn't detect the thin nylon fibres. They get entangled and drown.

Luckily for our Maui's and Hector's dolphins they happen to live in the ocean around the world's cleanest, greenest, 100 per cent Pureland.

We've all seen the ads and we taxpayers have spent millions trying to attract tourists to this mythical place where nature reigns supreme.

Come along and bring your money. Take a boat trip and see the whales and swim with the dolphins. Please be careful of the nets while swimming.

So with this wonderful, carefully bought, image of 100 per cent Pureland you'd think the Government would be protecting it for all they were worth wouldn't you.

Those in power will say "But we're nuclear free."

So what. Just means much more expensive power.

Or "Well, we fight to save the whales from Japanese ships."

True, just as long as it isn't New Zealand industry affected, I'm thinking.

"And we were very vocal at the International Union for Conservation of Nature."

Really? And how did New Zealand vote?

"Um, it was a secret vote so we can't tell you as that would breach privacy considerations."

You voted against didn't you?

"Um, well, there were two votes against the ban on gill nets and we were one of them."

It is reported the Department of Conservation was forced to vote against by the Ministry for Primary Industries.

"Um, that's right. They thought it would hurt the fishing industry and cost jobs."

How many jobs in the area where this almost-extinct creature lives?

"Um, about 15."

So there you have it. In 100 per cent Pureland becoming the next nation to abet the extinction of a dolphin matters less than 15 jobs.

But wait, readers, this fishy tale gets more interesting.

DoC has issued a statement rejecting "inaccurate media coverage" of the vote saying that the head of the delegation didn't say the MPI forced him to vote "no". He was only stating the Government's policy.

Which, to paraphrase, is filled with lovely sentiments and lofty ideals but, when it comes down to it, means that bugger all practical is being done to save the dolphins.

Now back to the vote, where 576 members - including governments and non-governmental organisations - thought the proposal good enough to back it. Two didn't.

So, representative of 100 per cent Pureland, how did it feel to vote against?

"Well, it wasn't just us, there was another vote against the proposal."

Okay, so who was the other nation that hates dolphins so much?

"Um, well ..."

We're waiting.

"Um, well, er ... "

Getting old here.

"Ummm, there wasn't one."

That's right folks. It has come to light that 100 per cent Pureland had two votes in the secret poll and was the only nation in the world to vote against.

What a shameful, hypocritical, awful thing to do.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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