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Roast kiwi way to save icon?
New Kiwi sanctuary peninsula
Bird Recovery Centre,
ROAST KIWI: “WAY TO SAVE THE SPECIES”
By Christine Langdon
Just imagine. Our national icon served up roasted with kumara and
spuds. An Australian sanctuary owner, John Wamsley, has touted the idea of a
genuine “kiwi roast”, saying New Zealanders will only know they’ve saved
the breed when there is enough for everyone’s dinner table.
Dr. Wamsley, who was a guest speaker at the ACT NZ party conference at the
weekend, said he had eaten kangaroo, platypus, and even cat. And
he’d be happy to try kiwi, too.
With kiwi numbers headed for extinction, Dr. Wamsley said that private
investment in conserving wildlife could get the population surging.
“Kiwis are expected to be gone from the mainland within 20 years. If
I was a New Zealander, that would be unacceptable to me. If we had
enough kiwis in NZ for every family to have one on their table every weekend, I
think we would have solved the problem.”
All that was needed was to raise money to keep kiwis in habitats where they
“You would gain enough knowledge of kiwis to know what their problem was and
what needed to be done to save them.”
Dr. Wamsley proved it was possible in Australia, building sanctuaries for the
endangered woylie (miniature kangaroo) and helping to build the population up. “The
beauty of private enterprise is that people can see the results, and when people
can see the results they are happy to contribute.”
ACT environment spokesman Gerry Eckhoff seemed to be on the same wavelength as
Dr. Wamsley- he said he had already come up with a recipe for grilled kiwi.
Mr. Eckhoff acknowledged that some peole considered him a “crackpot” for
suggesting that NZ privatise the kiwi, but said he believed the only way to save
the kiwi was with competent management and large investment.
The Conservation Department’s policies of “locking away the
environment as some unchangeable ecological masterpiece” were foolish in the
extreme, he said.
Page last updated: 20/05/02