Gary Busey

NZ Favourite Grandmother accuses Maori of eating Kereru to extinction “just like the Moa”

Maggie Barry, NZ’s favourite grandmother, is getting stuck into Maori for tucking into delicious wood pigeon.

Birds like the native kereru shouldn’t be eaten to the brink of extinction like Maori ate moa, Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says.

Her comment follows a report late yesterday three government ministers – Amy Adams, Nathan Guy and Tariana Turia – were served the protected bird mixed with chicken at an iwi leaders’ hui in 2013.

A spokesman for Maungarongo Marae near Ohakune, which apparently served the birds, said because the dead birds were given to them by the Department of Conservation (DOC), they thought it was fine to dish up.

However, DOC says birds, including kereru, which are found dead and given to them are sometimes transferred to local iwi for cultural use such as using the feathers or bones. It is not aware of any requests to eat them, and says if there were the department would oppose it on food safety grounds.

Ms Barry says the 2013 meal would have been served out of “wilful or deliberate ignorance”.

“It is not appropriate to eat threatened species fullstop.”

When asked why the flesh of the bird shouldn’t be eaten she replied: “When was the last time you ate road kill? Why would you? It’s not what you do.”

She hadn’t had any requests to change the law protecting kereru, in place since 1912, despite Maori still consuming them.

“Maori ate moa as well. We don’t want to eat birds to the brink of extinction that is not appropriate in this day and age.”

Ms Barry was “pretty certain” she’d never eaten the bird knowingly or not. She expected guests at the dinner would “not be served a protected species under the guise of a chicken dish”.

Ms Adams “had no idea” whether she ate the bird because the meal was two years ago.

“I’m not responsible for what they served, I have no idea what they served. If I had been advised it was kereru I wouldn’t have eaten it and to the best of my knowledge I haven’t eaten it,” she said today.

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They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

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Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.