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Ed Sheeran

Oil licenses further threaten dolphins

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A kaitiaki of the Aotea Harbor says the inclusion of Hector’s Dolphin habitat in zones licensed for oil exploration shows how little the Government cares about the endangered species.

Three onshore areas and four offshore areas are included in the 2015 Block Offer announced this week, including an area off north Taranaki and the Waikato coast.

Davis Apiti from Ngati Te Wehi says that includes part of an areas inhabited by some of the remaining 55 of the dolphins, less than half the population when the iwi started fighting for their protection 15 years ago.

The iwi wants a 250 nautical mile fishing exclusion zone from Raukumara near Aotea Harbour to Taranaki Point near Raglan and including Gannet Island, an important breeding site for NZ fur seals.

He says it seems no one will be held accountable if the dolphins become extinct.

Davis Apiti says Ngati Te Wehi wants the Waitangi Tribunal to hear its claim that failure to protect the dolphins a breach of the treaty.


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