Hon Maggie Barry ONZM
MP for North Shore
Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Conservation and Senior Citizens
1 Molesworth St
Wellington, Wellington 6011
Dear Hon Maggie Barry,
Every day that the domestic trade in elephant ivory or rhino horn continues, New Zealand legitimises the desire for these luxury wildlife ‘products’, stimulates demand and drives the current rhino and elephant killing spree.
No matter how large or small the New Zealand market may or may not be, it is still a market. Any legal market provides an opportunity to launder recently poached, illegal ivory and rhino horn and, as such, contributes to poaching and the illegal wildlife trade. Two recent convictions in New Zealand have confirmed that ivory is illegally imported into New Zealand and that some of that ivory makes its way into the New Zealand domestic market.
New Zealand is part of the problem. New Zealand can choose to be part of the solution. I want New Zealand to take a stand and legislate for a complete domestic trade ban on elephant ivory and rhino horn, no matter the age of the items.
New Zealand civil society has moved beyond the desire for such products. It’s time for New Zealand politicians to recognise this and enact a total domestic ban on elephant ivory and rhino horn to help stop the cruel poaching of these wonderful species. The time is now.