A beatup story on Labour MP Duncan Webb, based on comments he made nine years ago.
The Herald reports:
The new chairman of the Environment Select Committee at one stage suggested it would be okay to eat kiwi birds if their population was large enough, and compared commercial whaling to fishing.
The divisive views aired in 2010 came to light today following new Japanese whaling ships going back to sea earlier this month.
Let’s see what he really said.
When asked about whaling, he suggested it was like fishing.
“If I was Japanese I’d call it harvesting, just like we do when we’re fishing,” he said then.
“The fact of the matter is we do eat animals and a whale is just a mammal.”
He objected to the use of the term slaughter when talking about whaling, saying it was “utterly emotive”.
Webb is quite right. Whaling is just a form of fishing. Now when certain types of whale species are endangered they should not be hunted. But if you have just as many whales as herring, then you can’t discriminate on the basis of aesthetic appeal.
But he didn’t stop there. He went as far as to suggest there could be circumstances where eating kiwi meat was okay.
“What’s different between a kiwi and a mallard duck. If a kiwi had such a population that it was a pest, like the pukeko is in some parts of Westland, well you’d want to kill it. And if you’re going to kill it, why not kill it and eat it,” he told CTV.
Again absolutely correct. If we had 10 million Kiwi in the country, we’d hunt and eat Kiwis. The emu is the national bird of Australia and you can order emu at many Australian cafes.
But those views are in stark contrast to the Government’s Predator Free 2050 project which aims to see thousands of kiwi birds roaming the country freely – without the threat of introduced predators.
There is no contrast at all, let alone a stark one.
Kiwis are endangered because they have a very low population. Total support for increasing their population.
There is no conflict between that belief and saying that hypothetically if there were millions of Kiwis, it would be okay to eat them.
A total beat-up story against Duncan Webb. Little surprise that it seems to have originated with Newshub.