Readers: Kids first, dolphins second
Sorry Flipper, it looks like kids and jobs come first.
Columnist Gordon Brown's opinion piece, Consider The Kids Before Saving The Dolphins, and other stories about the Government's polarising plans to save the critically endangered Maui's dolphin, have inspired an incredible reaction and near-unprecedented debate.
Brown made the point in his Taranaki Daily News column that the Greens and other do-gooders who have rallied to save the Maui's have been less active in campaigns to save the many children in this country who suffer the pain of poverty or abuse and murder at the hands of parents and care-givers.
''It [child abuse] is a national disgrace. The shameful statistics provide the ultimate evidence that something has to be done, but the silence of Those Who Know Better is deafening. Why?,'' he wrote in his column. ''Compare that reaction with the fervour of recent years as the same lot ran endless campaigns to save the Maui's dolphin, never mind that it is based on the most tenuous evidence.''
Essentially he was asking what comes first: concerns over these dolphins or the protection of our kids and jobs.
That question has brought close to 130 comments on the Daily News website. And readers have backed the children and jobs over the dolphins in our online poll.
But it was close. Of the more than 650 responses to the poll, 56 per cent put kids and employment ahead of saving the dolphins. Forty-four per cent felt the need to prioritise the critically endangered mammal and the environment.