National's Environment spokesperson Scott Simpson says dialogue should be held with New Zealand's cat lovers ahead of calls for cat curfew legislation in a fun, pun-filled release.
Simpson began his release in straight fashion.
“Yesterday in select committee, Director General Lou Sanson revealed that the Department of Conservation is in talks with the SPCA about establishing a cat curfew and a plan for dealing with feral cats,” he wrote.
It wasn’t long before he dropped his first kitty-related pun though – pawsed, with all the puns italicised.
Simpson’s release comes after the Knox City Council, in Melbourne, last week moved to ban cats from straying from their owner's property.
Under the new law, which comes into effect on October 1, Knox City residents' cats cannot leave their owner's property at all over a 24-hour period. Owners whose cat strays will be slapped with a $91 fine for a first escape, with subsequent fines being raised to $545.
An amnesty will be in place for the first six months of the rule coming into effect. The new rule applies to 7000 cats that are registered with the council.
Simpson said the proposal for a cat curfew in New Zealand would be unsuccessful.
“I noted that DG Sanson pawsed before he admitted that it is a tricky conversation to have with the New Zealand public who have the highest levels of cat ownership in the world," Simpson said.
"In particular he called out Wellington City which is no surprise as my Wellington colleagues tell me tails about a cult following in the capital of a cat called Mittens."
Simpson added that Australian cats "must be much better time-keepers than any Kiwi cats I have had the furtune to encounter".
“While this idea might be catnip to conservationists, it is a conversation that needs to be had with the cat people of New Zealand who have been resistant to purrsuasion previously.”