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Government Report Critical Of Hobbs’ Leadership

A lack of leadership by Environment Minister Marian Hobbs has been criticised in the final report of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Bio-diversity and Private Land, said ACT Conservation spokesman Gerry Eckhoff.

“The report is a victory for common sense and the future of bio-diversity. Land owners throughout New Zealand will breath a sigh of relief at the sensible and pragmatic approach taken by John Kneebone and his committee.

“The report has levelled serious criticism at the Department of Conservation’s top down and bureaucratic managerial approach. And in what could signal a major change in government policy, national policy statements were identified as the quickest way to destroy bio-diversity on private land.

“Another exciting policy development was the use of the words trust and respect to describe the relationship the government should be having with landowners. For too long private landowners have been seen as a whipping boy by environmentalists concerned at the loss of indigenous flora and fauna.

“Perhaps the most important observation of the committee was the recognition that respect for private property rights is essential for the enhancement of bio-diversity on private land, a position ACT has long advocated.

“The Government must recognise that sustainability and profitability go hand in hand if we are to retain our bio-diversity,” said Gerry Eckhoff.


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