By Mike Nixon
A number of us are deeply concerned by the trivialising of the killing and eating of the native wood pigeon, kereru. It was very offensive for me to see a reporter on 7 Sharp trying to make a joke about it all by offering what was presented as kereru to members of the public, just adding insult to injury.
To me as a person born here, I have a deep connection to this land and its flora and fauna through spending decades now walking and working in the bush and mountains. I have worked hard for decades on conservation projects to save and increase kereru numbers. There is nothing more joyful to see a kereru sitting feeding in a tree, or hear them either crashing through the forest, or gently cooing. They play a very important part in native forest regeneration through ingesting and spreading seeds of
They are a unique treasure of this country, a taonga as I understand it, please respect and revere them as their numbers are very low in parts of the country such as Northland where DOC considers that “the possibility is they could become locally extinct”.
Chair of Northland Conservation Board, Mita Harris says, “The number in Tai Tokerau, I don’t know about the rest of the country, but the numbers are low and they don’t flock like they used to flock before in big numbers. It’s a wake-up call for Ngāpuhi, it’s a wakeup call for Māori right across the motu, to look at the stocks in our ngahere, especially our kūkupa.”