NZ government targets ivory trade regulations

Total Ivory and Rhino Horn Ban NOW

By RNZ/JGI - 24 September 2019

The New Zealand government is looking to regulate the domestic market for elephant ivory as it seeks to strengthen measures to prevent international trade in endangered species.

Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage today released a discussion document detailing options to amend the Trade in Endangered Species Act 1989.

Ms Sage said the review aimed to guarantee New Zealand was meeting its commitments to ensure this kind of trade "is not detrimental to the survival of species in the wild".

"There is growing concern worldwide about the role that trade in elephant ivory plays in the poaching and decline of elephant populations.

"New Zealand's domestic market for ivory is thought to be small but the domestic sale of elephant ivory items is not currently regulated", she said.

There are only around 400,000 elephants remaining worldwide.

According to the Jane Goodall Institute, which has called for a complete ban on the buying and selling of ivory in New Zealand, an elephant dies every 20 minutes, and the ivory trade played a huge role in their deaths.

Ms Sage said the costs and benefits of stronger regulation was part of the review of the law.

"Options for stronger regulation range from a ban on the domestic sale of elephant ivory in New Zealand, a ban with some exemptions for items such as antiques and musical instruments, to establishing a register of elephant ivory sellers and tracking all elephant ivory items that are sold," she said.

The review will also look at ways to improve how the Act operates, and make it easier to implement New Zealand's international obligations.

Public consultation on the discussion document will run until 25 October.

Ivory objects seized at border by Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) officers.

Ivory objects seized at border by Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) officers. Photo: DOC

Only 12,000USD fine was much too little.

One elephant is killed for its ivory every 25 minutes. One rhino is brutally killed for its horn every 8 hours.

These magnificent animals are being traded into extinction — to supply a human desire for “luxury wildlife products”, to parade one’s “wealth and status”, to take home a tourist souvenir or to give a business partner a gift with “prestige”.

New Zealand is part of this global problem.  

The domestic trade in elephant ivory and rhino horn is unregulated in New Zealand, with no rules or any requirements to show proof of where and when the ivory or horn was obtained.  An elephant tusk can sell for more than NZD $7,000 while a pair of raw rhinoceros horns can fetch over NZD $38,000.

The great news is that New Zealand can choose to be part of the solution — by closing our domestic ivory and rhino horn market for good.

Together our global collective efforts can and will put an end to the cruel ivory and rhino horn trade. New Zealand can standby the international commitments it has made and “do its bit” to help save elephants and rhinos from extinction.Here's what to do

Click here to email a 'ready-to-send" letter

This letter, to the New Zealand Minister of Conservation, Hon Eugenie Sage, asks for a complete ban of the domestic ivory and rhino horn trade in New Zealand.

Take & share a #NoDomesticTrade selfie

Download our #NoDomesticTrade sign + take a picture of you with it + share + link us in so we can share your support.

Facebook: Jane.Goodall.Institute.NZ

Instagram: Jane_Goodall_NZ

Twitter: JGI_NZ

Use these hashtags -  #NoDomesticTrade   #4EverWild   #JanesTrafficStop

Visit the JGI NZ wildlife trade campaign page.

"Please support our New Zealand campaign - all you have to do send the automated letter! And SHARE! Your message will go straight to the New Zealand Conservation Minister asking that New Zealand stop allowing the trade of ivory and rhino horn in our country: Yes, New Zealand has an unregulated ivory trade. Yes, illegally imported ivory makes its way into the NZ domestic market. But we can make a difference and stop these deaths.

Poverty is a key driving factor in poaching for ivory.
No Trade No Harm


Campaign Source: Jane Goodall Institute New Zealand - 2019