Island North End - KIWI Blasts Monopoly Attitude in DOC
Island Watching Interest Incorporated
Dedicated to the protection of the Kapiti
Island Nature Reserve for the benefit of all New Zealanders
Kapiti Island Watching Interest (KIWI) has condemned the Department
of Conservation (DOC) for locking the public out of the North End
public land on Kapiti Island. DOC's exclusion of the public from
the North End started today.
KIWI president, Dr Hugh Barr said " DOC is showing a blatant disregard
for the public, by giving this monopoly to the private homestay,
'until facilities can be built'. DOC is abolishing the 40 year old
current system, which allows the public to access the North End
as part of visiting the nature reserve, to ensure the private homestay
has a monopoly. There is no need to cut the public's access. The
only reason for this lockout appears to be to give the homestay
"Given DOC is in deep financial trouble, having recently sacked
15% of its scientific staff to help cover a $6 million shortfall,
it is unclear when, if ever, the public facilities at the North
End will be built" Dr Barr said. "Ironically DOC's arguments for
introducing these permits to the North End public land, was according
to the Conservator, because they had no ability to control illegal
access or behaviour from the homestay. DOC has no presence at the
North End. Now homestay people will have no DOC supervision, and
no public presence either. Its farcical."
DOC has failed to comply with a Court order to demarcate the private
land boundaries at the North End. DOC's supposed public consultation
on the issue has been a manipulation. It showed the public wanted
more access, not a lockout. It is simply a rubber stamp for the
Department's own agendas" Dr Barr said.
"In terms of creating public lack of confidence in DOC's ability
to do its job, this is the privatisation equivalent of Cave Creek"
Dr Barr said. "Bias like this against the public is making the recreational
public gravely concerned about the Department's commitment to do
its job fairly, and about its future."
Dr Hugh Barr