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Scattergun Policy Hurts Natural Heritage

The Budget funding package for biodiversity reeks of an old fashioned scattergun approach, said ACT Conservation spokesman Gerry Eckhoff.

The Government today announced it will spend an extra $187 million on the implementation of a biodiversity strategy. In reality, only $84 million is budgeted to be spent during this term of Government.

“This is a 1970’s conservation strategy. While I congratulate the Government on recognising the shortcomings of the conservation sector, the strategy employed is hopelessly flawed.

“The announced plan appears to have no conservation targets, no benchmarks or goals and no accountability structures. Basically there is no identification of conservation priorities. Is the plight of the little spotted kiwi more urgent than that of ancient rimu trees?

“Ms Lee also misrepresented the truth announcing that “some eighty five percent of our lowland forests and wetlands are now gone.”

While the figure Ms Lee uses is correct, she conveniently failed to mention the lands use now, namely that the vast majority of this land now sites our workplace, homes, farms and schools. These are good, constructive and economic uses of the land, not the mindless destruction for the blind pursuit of money that Ms lee implicitly implies.

“When a Minister of the Crown engages in emotive clap trap it destroys relevant, timely and informed debate, especially on environmental matters. The Greens are masters of this subterfuge.

“Sandra Lee rebutted Green mistruths today stating “animal pests and weeds pose the single greatest threat to conserving biodiversity on land”. Contrary to Greens propaganda, it is not chainsaws, foresters or large state owned enterprises beginning with T that threaten our environment, rather it is the pests breeding copiously in poorly administered state forests that we must watch.

“New Zealand needs a biodiversity strategy with vision, intellect and accountable goals. Until Government policy meets this criteria our natural heritage will continue it’s precarious existence,” said Gerry Eckhoff

ENDS

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