Author Louisa McKerrow

Louisa is the Communications Manager for WWF-New Zealand (World Wide Fund for Nature). She has extensive experience in the areas of media, communications and public relations. Her pen, camera and sense of humour have led her to wonderful work locations throughout Australia, Canada, USA, Solomon Islands, Vietnam, Cambodia, New Zealand and Peru. She was raised on a sheep and cattle farm in Outback Australia. Her specialty sectors are the environment (forest/marine/species conservation and climate change), crisis communications (biosecurity, floods and cyclones), and agriculture (livestock and broad-acre farming). She is an Open Water-accredited diver and has explored underwater ecosystems in the Solomon Islands and Cambodia.

The Big Pre-election Climate Change Policy Debate

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The environment has been a hot topic during the 2017 election campaign but one of the biggest issues, climate change, has received relatively little air time to date. That’s why WWF-New Zealand is hosting a Climate Debate on 19 September 2017 in Auckland, in partnership with Oxfam New Zealand and Fossil Free University of Auckland. Political candidates from five key parties have confirmed that they are attending, including James Shaw, leader of the Green Party and Megan Woods, Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson. The Climate Debate will be held from 7:00-8:30 pm on Tuesday 19 September 2017, in the AMRF Auditorium…

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Taking Wildlife Tracking to Next Level with WWF Conservation Innovation Winner DroneCounts

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WWF-New Zealand Conservation Innovation Awards winner DroneCounts is taking wildlife tracking to the next level in the urgent fight to stem the tragic loss of species, both locally and globally. Thought to be a world first, DroneCounts can GPS track and map the location of tagged endangered species, providing time-synchronised data about the target species’ behaviour to assist conservation management. The system can also be used to track wildlife poachers. DroneCounts took flight after winning $25,000 through the 2016 Conservation Innovation Awards, which enabled the team to further refine the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) design and build a flexible information…

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WWF-New Zealand Conservation Innovation winner RiverWatch making a splash

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A game-changer solution to New Zealand’s freshwater emergency, WWF-New Zealand Conservation Innovation Awards winner the RiverWatch Water Sensor is heading towards commercial market production. As a 2016 Conservation Innovation Awards winner, $25,000 core funding was provided to develop the RiverWatch prototype which remotely monitors and records freshwater quality, where it can be used by hundreds of community groups to collect much-needed data from rivers, lakes and streams. This simple floating device is equipped with unique probes which monitor data, including pH level, temperature, conductivity, turbidity, and dissolved oxygen. Open from 25 September to 15 October, the Conservation Innovation Awards will…

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WWF New Zealand’s on the look out for next environmental game changer

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WWF-New Zealand, with supporters The Tindall Foundation, Department of Conservation, Callaghan Innovation and New Zealand’s Biological Heritage National Science Challenge, is on the search—from research labs to garden sheds and everywhere in between—for new ideas that could positively impact the environment.

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New Zealanders call for better protection for NZ sea lions

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New Colmar Brunton polling released today shows that an overwhelming number of New Zealanders want the government to do more to protect endangered NZ sea lions from being accidentally caught and killed in fishing nets. The research, commissioned by WWF-New Zealand, has found 84% of Kiwis agree that the number of NZ sea lions/rāpoka being accidentally killed by fishing should be further reduced. “These are the world’s rarest sea lions and they live right here in New Zealand,” said WWF-New Zealand campaigner David Tong. “NZ sea lions are listed as ‘nationally critical’, and without further action this species is at…

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The EPA has sold the health of the marine environment for profit

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WWF-New Zealand is really disappointed by today’s Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) decision to approve seabed mining in the habitat of New Zealand’s critically endangered Māui dolphins. “By approving Trans-Tasman Resources’ application to mine iron sand off southern Taranaki, the EPA has allowed a new threat to New Zealand’s Māui dolphins, the world’s smallest and rarest marine dolphins,” said WWF-New Zealand campaigner David Tong. The EPA today approved Trans-Tasman Resources’ application to dig up 50 million tonnes of seabed in the Southern Taranaki Bight each year for the next 35 years. This would produce five million tonnes of iron ore for…

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New draft squid fishing plan recognises uncertainties in science of fishing impact on New Zealand sea lions

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Environmental organisation WWF-New Zealand, today cautiously welcomed the Ministry for Primary Industries’ new draft squid fishing plan and called for precautionary action to save the New Zealand sea lion. The ‘Squid 6T Operational Plan’, released today for consultation regulates trawling for squid around the Auckland Islands, home to the most important breeding colony of this endangered species. In this plan, the Ministry has for the first time acknowledged uncertainties in the science about the impact that fishing has on the New Zealand sea lion. The plan, if adopted, will cover the two fishing years from October 2017 to September 2019.…

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Scientists endorse WWF call for action to save Māui dolphins

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For the fifth year in a row, leading international scientists have urged the New Zealand government to remove set netting (also called gillnetting) and conventional trawling from Māui dolphin habitat, to save the world’s smallest and rarest marine dolphin from extinction. The message is clear: New Zealand’s Māui dolphins need urgent action now.The 2017 International Whaling Commission (IWC) Scientific Committee report released today again expressed grave concern for New Zealand’s critically endangered Māui dolphins. The Scientific Committee agreed that the New Zealand government must support fishing communities, companies and people to develop different kinds of fishing that are safe for…

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US Withdrawal from Paris Agreement Triggers Renewed Call to Action

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United States President Donald Trump has announced his intent to withdraw the US from the historic Paris Agreement, the world’s first global plan to address climate change. This announcement is a call to action to national and local governments, businesses and people worldwide to step up their commitments to address climate change. In response, WWF-New Zealand campaigner David Tong said: “The Paris Agreement is a key component of the world’s toolkit for making the switch to a 100% renewable, zero carbon future. It’s bigger than any one country or government. And it’s not the only tool we have – cities, businesses…

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Robin White to exhibit at the United Nations Ocean Conference

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Our oceans, our future: partnering for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 This June, significant work by New Zealand artist Dame Robin White will be on display in the United Nations Headquarters, New York. Dame Robin’s Kermadec and Fijian oceanic inspired tapa works will be installed at the United Nations for the historic Ocean Conference being co-hosted by the governments of Fiji and Sweden from 5-9 June in support of implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 (Conserve and sustainably the oceans, seas and marine resources). With an estimated 40 per cent of the world’s oceans heavily affected by unsustainable…

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