The Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage visited Te Papa’s natural history collection today to make an announcement that will be widely celebrated by the museum sector, as well as by anyone who values and appreciates New Zealand’s natural and cultural heritage, as Curator Vertebrates Colin Miskelly explains.
Sage was delighted to announce the release of a Discussion Document which seeks your input on the wording and need for regulations to limit the theft and sale of the remains of moa and other extinct New Zealand wildlife.
Te Papa and other New Zealand museums and research agencies have fought long and hard for the proposed regulations. While the release of the Discussion Document is only one step in the process, it was a momentous occasion that we were delighted to be able to share with the Minister and her staff.
We believe there is an urgent need for these regulations in order to slow the destruction of sites where bones and other remains of extinct species can be found, and also to limit the theft and sale of taongataonga treasures Māori | Noun | listen that belong to all New Zealanders.
As a curator who has the privilege to work with and care for some of the most precious remnants of our extinct fauna, I applaud the approach recommended, and will be making a submission in support of the proposed wording of the regulations.
If you consider that moa bones, egg shells and feathers need to be protected on behalf of all New Zealanders – along with remains of all the other bird, lizard and bat species that we have lost – please make the time to read the Discussion Document and make a submission.
This is your chance to make sure these regulations are worded correctly, and for Cabinet to understand how widely supported the need is for our natural and cultural heritage to be protected.