Hon Eugenie Sage
Minister of Conservation
FREEPOST Parliament Private Bag 18 888
Wellington 6160 NEW ZEALAND
Dear Eugenie Sage,
I am writing to you to urge you to end the domestic trade of elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn in New Zealand.
Elephant and rhinoceros are being traded into extinction by a global demand for trinkets, carvings, ornaments and jewelry.
1 elephant is killed for its ivory every 25 minutes. 1 rhino is brutally killed for its horn every 8 hours. Less than 415,000 African elephant and 30,000 rhinoceros now remain.
New Zealand is part of this global problem.
New Zealand’s legal domestic trade remains completely unregulated without even the most basic checks and balances to verify where and when elephant ivory or rhino horn was obtained. It is a lucrative trade too. Ivory items and rhinoceros horns can sell for hundreds to thousands of dollars.
Legal domestic markets enable the laundering of illegal items under the guise of legality. This is why the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) made historic resolutions calling for the closure of global domestic ivory markets. This call is officially supported by New Zealand.
The United States, China, Hong Kong, France, United Kingdom, European Union and Taiwan are all taking substantial measures to close or further restrict their domestic ivory trades. In July 2018 Australia concluded its Parliamentary Inquiry into their ivory and rhinoceros horn trade.
New Zealand is an outlier from the global response to this crisis and is falling short of its international commitment to the Convention.
I ask that New Zealand become part of the global solution by closing its domestic elephant ivory and rhino horn market, as a matter of urgency.