Kiwis Urged To Give Shane Jones ‘The Finger’


New Zealanders are being urged to participate in a provocative new campaign aimed at urging Minister for Oceans and Fisheries, Shane Jones, to expand the nation’s marine protected areas. The campaign, launched by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature New Zealand (WWFNZ), is titled “Give Shane Jones the Finger” and seeks to have 30 percent of New Zealand’s oceans designated as Marine Protected Areas by 2030.

The campaign message is clear: “Until you commit to protecting 30 percent of our ocean by 2030, New Zealand is committed to giving you the finger.” Each supporter’s signature sends an image of a crumbed fish finger to Jones’ inbox, reinforcing the demand for greater marine conservation efforts.

Dr. Kayla Kingdon-Bebb, CEO of WWFNZ, underscores the urgency of the issue, highlighting that over half of New Zealand’s population lives within five kilometres of the coast, relying heavily on the ocean for sustenance and livelihood. She stresses that the health of the oceans is in crisis, with 90 percent of seabird species and up to 30 percent of marine mammals facing the threat of extinction. Additionally, key fish stocks have seen dramatic declines of over 80 percent since the 1980s.

Kingdon-Bebb criticizes Jones’ approach to ocean management, pointing out that he has scrapped the limit on sea lion deaths in the southern trawl fishery, abandoned plans for the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary which would protect 14 percent of New Zealand’s ocean territory, and expressed intentions to review the use of cameras on fishing boats—a critical tool for effective fisheries management.


In response to previous criticism, Jones has downplayed the significance of sea lion deaths, suggesting that natural predators pose a greater threat than human activities. However, Kingdon-Bebb warns that without immediate action, iconic species like snapper and Hector’s dolphins could become rarities for future generations.
The campaign, while tongue-in-cheek, carries a serious message about the need for sustainable ocean management. Kingdon-Bebb hopes it will mobilize public support and pressure Jones to prioritize marine conservation over industrial interests like seabed mining and fossil fuel extraction.

Kiwis can get involved in the campaign at www.giveshanejonesthefinger.co.nz, where they can directly send Jones the digital fish finger in an email, asking him to implement New Zealand’s pledge to protect 30% of the ocean with Marine Protected Areas by 2030.

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