NZ Herald has come out in support of John Key and Wellington’s investigation into acquiring pandas.
The Wellington City Council is assessing the business case for joining Adelaide as the only Southern Hemisphere city with the animals. As the Minister of Tourism, John Key has an obvious interest in this. If Wellington Zoo could replicate Adelaide, where visitor numbers shot up after the pandas arrived, there are clear benefits for the city and the country.
Mr Key was, therefore, hardly out of order in suggesting the Government could help Wellington with the cost, but “it wouldn’t be a lot”. This would be no different from the Australian Government’s financial support to Adelaide for the care of its pandas.
That sounds reasonable – if a business case can be made for getting a pair of pandas then why not? It could benefit Wellington and the country.
The Government’s only other input was to have Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee deliver a proposal to bring the animals to Wellington during a visit to a panda breeding centre in Chengdu.
Criticism of this was a petty beat up. Discussing the possibility of pandas with China is good for our relations with them. If they lease us some pandas it will be good for diplomacy between the two countries.
The Prime Minister’s pursuit of a new national flag has created a rod for his own back. Now, every time he tries to advance something that does not address one of the country’s more pressing problems, he is harangued.
Key was always harangued by some. It just happens that ‘it’s a wasteful diversion doing that until all the bad stuff is fixed and everything else is perfect brigade is a diss that’s in fashion.
This week, it was the United Future leader, Peter Dunne, questioning his priorities over the prospect of pandas residing at the Wellington Zoo.
(Brownlee) was labelled a “panda pimp” by Labour leader Andrew Little, whose judgement was as errant as that of Mr Dunne.
Little has become a repetitive and petty piss-on-Key pimp.
And if Little ever becomes Prime Minister he might have his work cut out for him getting on with one of out biggest trading partners. He currently comes across as anti-anything to do with China.
Quite a bit of the media seemed to be in instant-anti mode too, something some journalists seem to be making a habit of.
For example Brian Rudman – Don’t waste takahe’s cash on panda porn
Panda porn keeps popping up on the television.
If we’ve got extra money to spend on conservation, it should be going towards the kakapo, the takahe, even the kiwi, which is disappearing at around 2 per cent a year. On average, 27 kiwis are killed by predators each week. Then there are plants such as the kauri, plagued by an incurable, die-back disease.
If the government wants to fund conservation work via the zoos we have our own urgent priorities.
But the Herald editorial has a more positive view:
Pandas would be a considerable tourist attraction, and all New Zealanders would be delighted to have them. It is quite reasonable for the Government to take an interest.
There’s nothing wrong with the Government taking an interest. If the business case for pandas doesn’t stack up then don’t get them. But if it looks good for tourism and for New Zealand-China relations then why not get pandas?