New powers to protect endangered NZ wildlife

Press release

Local Government and Environment Committee

For immediate release 5 April 2016

The Wildlife (Powers) Amendment Bill

A new Bill that would give certain Department of Conservation (DOC) rangers greater powers to protect some of New Zealand’s most endangered wildlife is being considered by a Parliamentary select committee.

The intention of granting rangers these new powers would be to reduce the taking, catching, killing, and smuggling of kereru, weka, endangered geckos, and other threatened wildlife.

Parliament’s Local Government and Environment Committee is now accepting public submissions on the Bill. Chair of the Committee, Scott Simpson MP, says, “Giving greater prevention and investigation powers to certain DOC rangers would be a win for our threatened wildlife. We look forward to hearing what New Zealanders have to say about the proposed powers.”

What are the proposed powers?

The Wildlife (Powers) Amendment Bill would amend the Wildlife Act 1953, giving certain rangers new powers to:

  • intervene to prevent or stop offending (for example by removing an illegally set trap).
  • stop a person if they are trying to evade a ranger or hide evidence of their offending.
  • require suspected offenders to give their date of birth and evidence of their identification to support any related investigation or court prosecution.
  • seize materials used to commit an offence that could be used as evidence in a court case.
  • temporarily arrest a suspected offender until they can be placed into Police custody. This would be limited to serious highly-protected wildlife offences.
Tell the Local Government and Environment Committee what you think

Send your submission on the Wildlife (Powers) Amendment Bill by midnight on 12 May 2016.

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To find out more about the Wildlife (Powers) Amendment Bill visit:

See how to make a submission, visit:

For more information contact:

Scott Simpson (Chairperson)
Local Government and Environment Committee
Tel: (021) 880 331

OR

Kate Barnes (Clerk of Committee)
Tel: (04) 817 9523
Email: kate.barnes@parliament.govt.nz